Hyundai Motorsport creates a Driver Development Program

Hyundai Motorsport creates a Driver Development Program

Chewon Lim, Hyundai Motorsport Driver Development Program
Chewon Lim / Source: Hyundai Motorsport

Hyundai Motorsport will expand its activities in rallying this season with the launch of the Hyundai Motorsport Driver Development Program. Chewon Lim is the first competitor to receive the support of the scheme.

The foundation of a Driver Development Program is another step in Hyundai’s increasing presence in rallying. The decision to support a South Korean driver will help promote international rallying in the brand’s home country.

Chewon competed for six years in circuit racing, including a stint in Formula 3 in Europe. After that he turned his attention to starting a new career in rallying. In 2015 the 33-year-old from Seoul beat 5,000 applicants to win South Korean reality TV show ‘The Rallyist’. The show aimed to find a new international rally driving talent. They were put through a series of physical and driving tests, with Chewon selected as the final victor.

Throughout the last year he worked with Hyundai at the company’s base in Alzenau, Germany. Working with young Belgian co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe Chewon began to develop the specialized techniques needed for his new career.

Chewon and Martijn made their competitive debut in June last year. They entered a total of seven events in an R2-specification car. The pair will continue to work together throughout 2017, when they will race with New Generation i20 R5.

The crew is scheduled to compete in up to 14 events across Europe. They include Rallye Deutschland and the six stops of the Tour European Rally (TER) Series. TER Series begin with Rally Transilvania in early May.

The foundation of the Hyundai Driver Development Program is another step in Hyundai’s increasing presence in rallying

Chewon Lim said: “This is a big step in my rally career. To be part of the Hyundai Motorsport Driver Development Program and have the support of a successful WRC team is very encouraging for me. Last year I felt I made a lot of progress. I had to learn a totally new system, having Martijn beside me in the car compared to before when I would be alone.”

“The most important thing I had to learn to do is to make and understand precise pacenotes. Before I was able to do laps of a circuit a learn everything about each corner. Now I may only see a corner once on the recce, but when I am competing on stages I quickly have to understand and trust Martijn and the note. The move into the New Generation i20 R5 is another challenge for me. There is a lot more power in the car, and it is also four-wheel drive, which means I have to slightly adapt my driving style again to get the best out it. Every time I get in the car I will be learning more, but that is the target.”

Hyundai Motorsport Team Manager Alain Penasse, who sat on the TV show judging panel that selected Chewon said:

“One of the things that most impressed me about Chewon was his ability to learn quickly. He has maintained that since he started working with Hyundai. Through his training and testing last year he learnt the basics and was able to build a good relationship with Martijn. In 2017, with the support of the Hyundai Motorsport Driver Development Program, their progression as a crew will continue. It will be a new challenge for both Chewon, but it is also an important phase in his development as a rally driver.”