Atkinson returns to WRC

Australian rally star Chris Atkinson is returning to the World Rally Championship with Hyundai. And this is the beastie he will be driving.

The global reveal of the Hyundai i20 World Rally Car included the announcement of Shell as the primary sponsor, along with prominent ‘N’ logos pointing to the newly created Hyundai road car performance division, which Hyundai Australia has shown great interest in bringing to the local market.

Queenslander Atkinson has played a major part in the i20’s WRC development program, having been appointed to the testing squad. The 2012 Asia Pacific Rally Champion has been confirmed for several events in 2014, partnering lead driver Thierry Neuville. Thankfully, Atko’s program includes Rally Australia.

“It’s a nice early Christmas present to be given this opportunity to return to the WRC with Hyundai Motorsport,” he said. “It’s going to be awesome to compete in front of my home crowd on the Coates Hire Rally Australia.”

The 34-year-old has made 75 starts in the World Rally Championship, with six podium placings. His last factory drive was with Subaru in 2008, where he finished fifth in the standings.

In all, the i20 WRC has completed more than 8000 kilometres of mixed-surface testing as the buoyant Korean company looks to compete with the all-conquering factory Volkswagen Polo Rs in 2014.

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