Hyundai WRC pull-out confirmed

Hyundai will not contest this week's Rallye de France in Corsica and the rally team's boss David Whitehead says it is unlikely it will compete in the remaining rounds of the season

Hyundai WRC pull-out confirmed

Hyundai and Motor Sports Developments, the outfit that runs the manufacturers' World Rally programme, have been involved in an on-going contractual dispute and Hyundai has withheld payments to MSD until the dispute has been resolved. A resolution has yet to be found and Whitehead, managing director at MSD, says he is taking legal advice to 'set the record straight'.

"The simple fact is that Hyundai has failed to honour their payment obligations to MSD and we cannot continue if we do not get paid," he said. "Hyundai has no contractual basis whatsoever to withhold any payments from us. I can only assume Hyundai had no intention to complete the programme despite its assurances in the past.

The dispute arose when Hyundai Motor Company wanted to see details of MSD's accounts. Hyundai says the dispute could still be resolved if that information is made available to the manufacturer.

"We are still looking for a resolution but we don't see MSD even making a little step to solve the dispute," said a Hyundai spokesman.

"MSD failed to provide financial back-up for the years 2002 and 2003. By contract Hyundai should have access to the use of the [World Rally] budget upon request. The only figures MSD provided were for 2002. So basically we don't how MSD spend our sponsorship budget.

"We have said we want to pay the money required to finish the season. But the conditions of payment are clear - an insight into the books."

Hyundai had recently announced that it would withdraw from rallying at the end of the season until 2006, but would complete this season as scheduled.

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