Hyundai Motor Company Australia will hit the dirt for the first time in Coffs Harbour next month, competing in the NSW round of the Australian Rally Championship.

Team Hyundai Rallye, lead by veteran rally driver Mick Gillett, will team with navigating partner of twenty years, Harvey Smith in an i30 CRDi turbo diesel to tackle the challenging north coast event.

With a successful history in the NSW Rally Championships, including the last four years driving Hyundais, the team took possession of an i30 in November 2009, and will rally with factory backing from the Hyundai Genuine Parts and Accessories division of Hyundai Motor Company Australia.

Team Hyundai Rallye will compete in the ‘Showroom Class’ of the Australian Rally Championship, having undergone a complete drivetrain transfer, with the petrol automatic morphing into a powerful and potent CRDi manual after a complete engine and gearbox transplant.

Identification and elimination of body weight is a constant struggle for non-production based rally cars. However, after an extensive interior strip-down, the fitment of a roll cage and tireless hours of refitting all parts and trim, the i30 is ready to meet the rigorous safety standards required to compete.

The team will receive support during the championship rounds from the professional and expert technicians in the national Hyundai retail network. Team driver Mick Gillett is chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel. “It’s taken a long time to get the i30 ready to rally. We could not have done it without the support of our sponsors and the rally team. The car has outstanding handling, responsive steering and loads of power,” he said. “This is a great match for the challenging Coffs Harbour roads and I will be looking for a fast start to our series campaign.”

With 500,000 sales and a raft of global awards - including Australia’s ‘Best Mid-size Car Under $30,000’ 2009 – under its belt, Hyundai’s i30 is poised to further prove its ruggedness and performance in the challenging rally arena.

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