Tanak leaves Toyota for Hyundai in multi-year deal from 2020 WRC onward
The newly crowned 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) champion Ott Tanak has announced a switch to Hyundai Motorsport from 2020 season onward.
Tanak, who secured his maiden WRC title in Rally Spain last weekend with Toyota, has been announced has a new Hyundai driver from 2020 season onward, in a multi-year deal, which will see him compete for the Korean manufacturer until 2021 at least.
Although not mentioned but it is likely that co-driver Martin Jarveoja will move with Tanak to drive the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. "I am really excited to join Hyundai Motorsport from the 2020 WRC season," said Tanak.
"The vision that Andrea has set out is very promising and matches my own ambitions for the future. It’s a big honour for me to have the opportunity to join the team at this exciting stage of our respective careers.
"I have big respect for what Hyundai has accomplished; we’ve been fighting closely against each other for a number of seasons. They have always had a competitive team and car, so now it will be interesting to see things from the other side.
"The driver line-up is good, and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together over the coming years." Tanak is part of a four-driver line-up with longtime rival Thierry Neuville being the only other full-time driver.
They will have Dani Sordo and Sebastien Loeb in a part-time role. "Signing a two-year deal with Ott is a demonstration of Hyundai’s continued commitment and ambitions in the World Rally Championship," said our Team Director Andrea Adamo.
"We are involved in a very close fight for the title this season. Bringing Ott and Martin into the team from 2020 will enable us to continue to be at the forefront for the coming years. He is an exceptional talent, as we have all seen, impressively quick and consistent on all terrains and he will be a real asset to Hyundai Motorsport.
"With this announcement, we have four crews confirmed for the 2020 season; Thierry and Ott will contest all 14 rounds on the calendar in their own i20 Coupe WRC, with Dani and Sébastien sharing a third car.
"It is a potent and inspiring crew line-up, which will set a high benchmark to which the entire team will aspire. We also remain in conversation with Andreas and Craig to see how we might be able to collaborate in WRC next season."
While this may come as a surprise move for Tanak, who has just won the title with Toyota but reports already surfaced in Spain about such switch. The talk about the Japanese outfit falling apart has been widely speculated as well.
[Image courtesy: Hyundai] [Note: This story was written by me on FormulaRapida.net]