Australian rally ace Chris 'Atko' Atkinson will steer the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team's new i20 WRC racer at March's Rally Mexico.
Announced as the team's second driver late last year - and scheduled to contest selected rounds in 2014 - Atko will compete in Mexico alongside lead driver Thierry Neuville.
Atkinson's elevation to the Rally Mexico event comes after joining Hyundai Motorsport in July 2013 as a test driver in the development of the i20 WRC car.
Team Principal Michel Nandan said today that Atkinson's experience with the Mexican course will be a welcome boost to the Hyundai Shell team's hunt for victory.
"After Rallye Monte-Carlo we had to start making decisions on Rally Mexico and we thought Chris would be the ideal choice for our first rally on loose surface," Nandan said.
"We were impressed with Chris’ pace in Mexico last year and having feedback from a different driver will definitely help us significantly to further develop the Hyundai i20 WRC.”
The Rally Mexico event will also be the i20 WRC's first outing on a gravel course, and the team's first intercontinental event.
Atkinson will pilot the number 8 i20 WRC, while Neuville will drive car 7.
“I have had several good results in Mexico, including my best WRC finish of second place in 2008, so I have some great memories of this event and the Mexican fans," Atkinson said today.
"It will be the competitive debut of the Hyundai i20 WRC on gravel so it will be interesting to see how we can perform. I know how hard everyone has been working to prepare for this season so I hope we can repay them with a good result!”
Rally Mexico will run from March 6 to March 9.
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