Everyone is pretty hyped right now about the upcoming entry of Rockstar Games’ cash cow, Grand Theft Auto VI. Sure, we don’t cover transportation-related video games much here (should we?) but I’m stoked. No offense to the crew at Rockstar Games and Rockstar North, but I’ve gotten a bit bored with playing around with Grand Theft Auto V‘s North Yankton and San Andreas maps for more than a decade. The developers know, too, because, on December 4, Rockstar Games delivered an early holiday present with the release of the first GTA VI trailer. We’re headed back to a fictionalized Florida with Vice City, baby! The hype train about the return of Vice City has been non-stop and even Hyundai Motorsport wants to cash in on it with a fun trailer of its own.
I won’t delay you any further, check out this video! For those of you who hate counting in Roman numerals, that title is Grand Test Auto 24, and the video is a celebration of how far the team has come.
Hyundai Motorsport GmbH, which was established in Germany in 2012, is the motorsports arm of the South Korean automaker. The firm’s activities are centered on supporting the Hyundai World Rally Team, which competes in the World Rally Championship. The division also supports the racing efforts of customers.
There’s a chance you may not have even known that Hyundai has its own motorsport division, but Hyundai has been in and out of racing for at least 20 years. The team seems to do pretty well for itself. In 2023, Hyundai Motorsport said it took two wins, fifteen podiums, and four double podium finishes in WRC. It also scored what it says is its third-largest total of points in WRC since it joined the series. Hyundai Motorsport entered WRC in 2014 and since then, the factory team has won two titles and accumulated 27 wins. You’ll also find Hyundai Motorsport in electric competition, including FIA ETCR.
Hyundai Motorsport’s TCR Touring Car customers also had a good year, racking up 10 titles, 45 wins, 112 podiums, and 35 pole positions. Customers with i20 R5 and i20 N Rally2 racers scored 10 titles, 96 wins, more than 270 podiums, and more than 900 stage wins.
Not bad, Hyundai Motorsport, not bad! The video above includes some of Hyundai Motorsport’s star talent, including Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville. They got a giggle out of me for pretending to be robbers, complete with impacts. Hyundai provides a profile for both racers:
Ott has solidified his place as one of world rallying’s superstar talents. He made his WRC debut at Wales Rally GB in 2011, before moving into a full season campaign the following year. He was quick to show his potential, scoring a debut podium in the penultimate round of the year in Sardinia. Following a few years out of the WRC category, he returned in 2015. 2017 was his breakthrough season in the sport, as he claimed a debut victory in Sardinia, and followed that up with a win in Germany. Moving teams in 2018, Ott was a man transformed and established himself as one of the leading contenders in WRC. He was crowned WRC Drivers’ Champion in 2019 with five victories. His first season at Hyundai was a successful one, claiming victory at his home event, Rally Estonia, as well as picking up podiums at three other events on the condensed 2020 calendar. Ott went on to take four more podiums in 2021 and a further eight in the 2022 season, including three victories.
Thierry is a true petrol head; he loves being behind the wheel. His success at junior levels enabled him to step up to WRC in 2009. After finishing second in the 2013 standings, his performance caught the eye of our fledgling team, and we signed him for our inaugural season.
He scored our team’s first podium in Mexico 2014, and a memorable 1-2 (ahead of Dani) in Rallye Deutschland – our debut victory. Thierry has since emerged a regular title contender, always at the forefront of the action. He finished as championship runner-up on four consecutive occasions from 2016-2019 and helped us win our first manufacturers’ titles in 2019 and 2020. Thierry also spearheaded our ultimate podium lock-out at Acropolis Rally in 2022. 2023 marks Thierry’s 10th season with the team; his victories and podium finishes, as well as his expert feedback and innate talent, have contributed hugely to our success. Hailing from St. Vith in the Ardennes forest, Thierry can speak several languages fluently.
As is common with racing teams, Hyundai Motorsport has its own social media. The folks of Hyundai Motorsport have a decent fanbase with 430,000 followers on Instagram. Sure, that’s short of the 1.3 million followers that Mercedes-AMG Motorsport has, but still, it’s not bad.
Hyundai Motorsport found a clever way to get people hyped with that video. As of writing, Grand Test Auto XXIV has 551,563 views, a huge jump over a playlist where some videos don’t even crest 600 views. Admittedly, I thought it was going to be something lame piggybacking off of the insane popularity of Grand Theft Auto. However, it just seems like a fun video with Hyundai Motorsport’s people just having some fun set to a backdrop of rally action. I dig it!
Here’s what the original GTA VI trailer looks like, if you’re curious:
I don’t think I can mention GTA VI without giving you any more information, so you should know there’s still a long wait. Rockstar plans on releasing the game in 2025. Until then, you’ll just have to keep on enjoying GTA-related media. It certainly looks like the team at Hyundai Motorsport is. Here’s to another good year of racing!
(Images: Hyundai Motorsport.)
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