Korean motor manufacturer Hyundai is preparing to launch an FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar programme, French newspaper Auto Hebdo has reported.
Hyundai Motorsport boss Cyril Abiteboul, formally team principal of Renault Formula 1 team, has approached former Williams F1 technical director François-Xavier Demaison, also known as ‘FX’ after his initials, to prepare a future Hypercar programme for the manufacturer, with aims to compete in what the newspaper has called the “medium term”.
The Korean company currently competes in the FIA World Rally Championship with its Hyundai i20 N Rally1 car. It has flirted with other motorsport programmes before, including an F1 engine programme and top class WEC efforts in Hypercar and LMP1, but these have never amounted to anything.
FX was technical director at Williams from March 2021 to December 2022, when he left the team along with team principal Jost Capito. Before this, FX was technical director at Volkswagen Motorsport, and engineered the German manufacturer to multiple WRC title wins in the 2010s.
Abiteboul, meanwhile, was appointed as team principal of Hyundai Motorsport in January 2023. It is not clear from Auto Hebdo’s report if Hyundai would remain in WRC if a WEC Hypercar programme did come to fruition. It has investigated the possibility of competing in Hypercar before, but seemed to discard the idea, instead opting to continue in WRC.
It is also not clear whether a potential Hypercar programme would align to the LMDh ruleset, joining Porsche, Cadillac, and from 2023, Lamborghini, BMW and Alpine who race or will race LMDh-rules car in the WEC, or the LMH rules, which would see it racing to the same ruleset as Ferrari, Toyota, and Peugeot.
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