A bit of a bummer for anyone who enjoyed seeing Hyundais get flung across the dirt in Global RallyCross or set records at Pikes Peak: Rhys Millen Racing, Hyundai's longtime partner, has announced the Korean brand has withdrawn from U.S. motorsports.
Rhys Millen Racing made the announcement yesterday on their official blog. Hyundai Motor America has yet to issue a statement on the situation. Here's what Millen said:
"This is disappointing news to the team and myself as we proved we could win or produce the top 3 fastest times in each event at the last 6 rounds of competition." We had achieved victories in various disciplines of Motorsport that we had partnered in the US over the years. This came as a real shock after Hyundai Korea had invested so much into supporting the same style of racing in the World Rally Championship. I am happy with what we achieved as a team and am thankful to those at Hyundai that supported the program and believed in Motorsports."
Millen offered no further details as to why the decision was made, but it is indeed a surprising one considering how well the Veloster has done in Global RallyCross. The cars will now be sold to privateers looking to enter the series.
Hyundai continues to race with a factory team in the World Rally Championship. With the partnership with Millen apparently at an end, it's not clear what will happen with their other endeavors, like Pikes Peak.
I reached out to Hyundai officials for comment on the situation and will update the story if I get one.