Jul 01, 2020
Hyundai Motorsport has taken part in a unique ‘Riders meet Rally’ event in Italy, bringing together the two worlds of the FIA World Rally Championship and MotoGP.
The event, organised by Italian multi-utlity brand WITHU and Hyundai Motorsport customer, Hyundai Rally Team Italia, saw a cross-over of two- and four-wheeled activities. A mix of MotoGP, Moto 2 and Moto 3 riders experienced the thrill of rallying at the iconic “Il Ciocco” in Tuscany – venue for one of the rounds of the Italian Rally Championship – with driving and co-driving experiences in Hyundai machinery.
WITHU is a sponsor of Hyundai Rally Team Italia’s Hyundai i20 R5 and driver Umberto Scandola in a WRC3 campaign, while the company also supports the Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team in MotoGP and SKY Racing Team VR46 in Moto2 and Moto3.
MotoGP stars Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli joined their counterparts in Moto2 and Moto3, Marco Bezzecchi, Luca Marini, Andrea Migno and Celestino Vietti for a seat swap in the Hyundai i20 R5. They enjoyed the opportunity to drive and co-drive, with Scandola, on a 3km tarmac stage. They then switched to an exhilarating co-drive with Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team driver Dani Sordo in the hot seat of his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on a 6km tarmac route.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Andrea Adamo said: “It was nice to be in Italy, taking part in an event with a motorsport atmosphere between two different worlds, WRC and MotoGP. After the situation we’ve all faced, it has been appreciated to create something with a good mood and to let everyone back to a bit of normality. For me, it has been especially enjoyable to see Hyundai enabling a merge between two and four-wheeled motorsport, as well as between our own activities; we have brought together our customers, Hyundai Rally Team Italia with our Hyundai i20 R5, and our WRC team. We have shown we are ‘one team, one win’, working together on a great activation that spreads the positive motorsport spirit and Hyundai’s image in general.”
WITHU President Matteo Ballarin said: “WITHU’s passion for motorsport, on two and four wheels, knows no boundaries. The desire to return to racing is great and with this day we wanted to transmit our positive energy to all the fans who have followed us through the social networks. It was a day full of emotions, which finally allowed us to share our passion for speed with the drivers who are part of the WITHU family in full compliance with safety regulations. There are no words to define my enthusiasm for the participation in the same event of Hyundai Motorsport, Hyundai Rally Team Italia, SKY Racing Team VR46 and Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team: something exceptional that has allowed us to combine the highest expressions of rallying and world motorcycling in a single WITHU event.”
Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team driver Dani Sordo added: “This has been a lot of fun. I am a big fan of two-wheeled sport, so to see our worlds come together on such an activation is fantastic to see. It has been a pleasure to be back in the driving seat of our Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, even if only on a short stage, and to share the experience with the riders. I know Fabio quite well, we both live in Andorra and occasionally train together; all the riders got involved in the day and seemed to enjoy themselves! I have a big respect for what they do on two wheels, so it was good to share a rally experience with them.”
Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Fabio Quartararo commented: “It was a really nice experience, first of all to drive the Hyundai i20 R5 car. Unfortunately was only for two laps, but driving a rally car was very special. The co-driving experience both on the R5 and the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC car was so nice and incredible. I think it was one of the nicest experiences I ever had. You really feel the speed and it’s amazing how fast they can go in such a small road so I hope to be back again and to drive a little bit more.”
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