Tänak secured a maiden drivers’ title in Spain on Sunday afternoon but will leave the Japanese manufacturer at the end of the season to join Hyundai Motorsport in a two-year deal, it was announced on Thursday evening.
The 32-year-old Estonian and co-driver Martin Järveoja had been expected to sign a new deal with Tommi Mäkinen’s squad until rumours surfaced earlier this month linking them with a switch to the Korean team.
Hyundai initially poured cold water on the stories, but confirmed today Tänak will link up with this year’s title rival Thierry Neuville, nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb and Dani Sordo in what will undoubtedly be the strongest team in the 2020 WRC service park.
Tänak said the vision that team director Andrea Adamo set out matched his own ambitions.
“It’s a big honour for me to have the opportunity to join the team at this exciting stage of our respective careers. I have big respect for what Hyundai has accomplished. We’ve been fighting closely against each other for a number of seasons,” he said.
“They have always had a competitive team and car, so now it will be interesting to see things from the other side. The driver line-up is good and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together over the coming years.”
Born: 15.10.1987, Kärla, Estonia
WRC rallies: 105
WRC wins: 12
WRC podiums: 26
WRC stage wins: 223
First WRC event: Portugal 2009
First WRC win: Sardegna 2017
Photo: Aaro Nygård/AKK