Australian rally driver Chris Atkinson has joined Hyundai Motorsport's World Rally Championship programme. He'll be working with the team in the development of its latest iteration of the Hyundai i20 WRC car.
The 33 year-old rally veteran will join Juho Hänninen and Bryan Bouffier on the i20 test team, and will commence his first session in the i20 WRC this week.
After Subaru ended their WRC campaign, Atkinson found himself behind the wheel of Citroen, Proton, Skoda and most recently, MINI rally cars. According to Atkinson, this experience will be vital as he hones the i20 rally car over the coming months.
“It is such an exciting project," he said.
"After visiting the Hyundai Motorsport factory three weeks ago, I am simply impressed by the team’s commitment and achievements so far.
"I have a lot of experience of many different WRC cars and events, and I will utilise this knowledge to support the development of the 2014 i20 WRC car.”
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Michel Nandan welcomed the Australian's input, saying:
“It is great to be able to integrate Chris into Hyundai Motorsport testing line-up for this season and I am convinced he will bring a lot of valuable WRC experience.
"Chris will support the work of our main test drivers Juho and Bryan. With the combined expertise of all three test drivers, we will be able to benefit from thorough and comprehensive input at every test session.”