Eriksson under threat at Hyundai

World Rally veteran Kenneth Eriksson could be without a drive for next year following speculation that an all-rounder may replace the Swede at Hyundai, according to this week's Autosport magazine

Eriksson under threat at Hyundai

Eriksson has yet to re-sign for the Korean marque and Hyundai's rally partner Motor Sport Developments have made no secret that it would prefer a driver who is more proficient on asphalt to join the team.

Sources suggest that Eriksson may stay on should sufficient sources be found to pay the 43-year-old and draft in an asphalt expert as required. If the extra money cannot be found, the 'specialist' - likely to be Bruno Thiry or Jesus Puras - could replace Eriksson for the full 13-round 2001 programme.

"Nothing is signed yet, but of course we are talking," said Eriksson who has played a crucial role in the development of the Accent WRC. "I think we're making progress with the car now and I would like to continue that."

MSD boss David Whitehead would not comment on the matter. He said: "We're still in discussions with a number of drivers and nothing will be confirmed for another couple of weeks. We are keeping our options open."

While Eriksson's future hangs in the balance, Tapio Laukkanen is confident he can secure a limited world championship programme for next year, although the 1999 British champion is unsure which WRC he will use.

The Finn scored his first points on Rally Australia in a Focus and will complete his privateer deal with Ford on Rally GB next week. The 31-year-old is confident he can put together a deal for as many as six events in 2001.

"It's looking quite promising, although nothing is signed," said Laukkanen. "The problem is that you need to have a good car, and there are only really two or three World Rally Cars that are on the pace. For a private driver to be competitive you have to have a good base."

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