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(Event release, 5/3/2013)  HYUNDAI is moving closer to its promised return to the FIA World Rally Championship, choosing the current Geneva motor show to exhibit an updated version of the car it will enter from next season.

A little more than five months after the i20 WRC broke cover at Paris Motor Show, the Korean manufacturer showed a revised model sporting aerodynamic updates and suspension improvements.

“We are still in the infancy of our exciting WRC program so the development curve for the car and team is steep,” team principal Michel Nandan said.

“This latest version of the i20 WRC has centred on aerodynamics with the objective of improving the car’s cooling systems.”

Nandan has recruited key technical, logistics and motorsports specialists for the new Hyundai Motorsport operation in Alzenau, Germany, and the squad will soon begin more intensive testing.

“Building up a new motorsport facility from scratch is an ambitious and rewarding challenge. We have begun the recruitment process but already have a number of key people in place who bring with them a wealth of rally and motorsport experience,” he said.

“We are rapidly building up the team infrastructure and are pleased that everything is running to schedule.

“Our ultimate goal is to be victorious but we know that we have a lot of tough competition ahead of us. We will use this year to lay the solid foundations but hope to advance quickly as 2014 approaches.”

Also in Geneva, German maker Opel, which recently launched on the Australian market, presented its new rally car built for the FIA R2 regulations.

The Adam Cup car is intended primarily for European championships, but would be eligible for the Australian Rally Championship under its new two-wheel drive regulations.

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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