McRae sticks with Hyundai for 2001

Alister McRae has re-signed to drive the rapidly-improving Hyundai Accent WRC in next year's World Rally Championship, along with veteran team mate Kenneth Eriksson

McRae sticks with Hyundai for 2001

The Korean marque has re-signed the Scot and the Swede on one-year contracts and will also bring in asphalt expert Piero Liatti to compete on six events next year.

Earlier this year McRae was linked with a move to Peugeot, but after 'Pug' drivers Marcus Gronholm and Gilles Panizzi were confirmed, another year with Hyundai looked to be the Scot's only viable option.

Eriksson's position within the team looked to be under threat due to pressure form Hyundai partner Motor Sport Developments - which builds and runs the Accent WRCs - to recruit a driver more proficient on asphalt.

The team's budget is believed to have been extended in order to secure Liatti's services, allowing the 43-year-old Eriksson to stay on with the Milton Keynes-based team. Italian Liatti will compete on four aspahlt events and two gravel rounds, which are yet to be confirmed.

"We were a bit disappointed with our performance on tarmac this year," said MSD boss David Whitehead. "For this reason we wanted to bring in a tarmac specialist to lend us his experience, a position that Piero [Liatti] will fulfill successfully. With the combination of these three drivers we feel we will make a significant step forward next year."

The confirmation of Hyundai's line-up leaves the chances of Peugeot exile Francois Delecour securing a drive for 2001 looking bleak. The fiery Frenchman was fired from the double title-winning marque after Rally GB. Delecour, who has also missed out on a Citroen WRC drive, has threatened to retire if he does not secure a top-line seat.


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