Hyundai entered motorsport by competing in the F2 class of the World Rally Championship in 1998 and 1999. In September 1999, Hyundai unveiled the Accent WRC, a World Rally Car based on the Hyundai Accent. The Hyundai World Rally Team debuted the car at the 2000 Swedish Rally and achieved their first top-ten result at that year's Rally Argentina, when Alister McRae and Kenneth Eriksson finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Eriksson later drove the car to fifth place in New Zealand and fourth in Australia. In 2001, Hyundai debuted a new evolution of the Accent WRC, which was intended to improve reliability, but the performance of the car was still not good enough to challenge the four big teams (Ford, Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Subaru). However, at the season-ending Rally GB, the team achieved their best result with McRae finishing fourth and Eriksson sixth.
For the 2002 season, Hyundai hired the four-time world champion Juha Kankkunen, along with Freddy Loix and Armin Schwarz. Kankkunen's fifth place in New Zealand was the team's best result, but they managed to edge out Škoda and Mitsubishi by one point in the battle for fourth place in the manufacturers' world championship. In September 2003, after a season hampered by budget constraints, Hyundai announced withdrawal from the WRC and planned to return in 2006, which did not happen.
In 2006, following the announcement that Korea was scheduled to earn a Formula One Grand Prix, Hyundai planned to enter the sport.The Korean Grand Prix was first held in 2010, but Hyundai have not entered the championship. Hyundai announced they would be revealing their future rally plans at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, on February 9.The current plans for rallying are focused around the newest Hyundai release, the Veloster.

Alister McRae driving an Accent WRC at the 2001 Rally Finland.

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