Ex-Williams technical boss Demaison joins Hyundai WRC programme
By Jason Craig
Wednesday 24th May, 2023 - 11:04pm
Hyundai Motorsport’s new technical director François-Xavier (FX) Demaison is “tremendously excited” to be joining the squad’s World Rally Championship effort.
Specially created as part of the Alzenau-based squad’s leadership structure, Demaison will take up his post on June 1 and focus his efforts on the marque’s World Rally, Customer Racing, and electric motorsport programmes respectively.
The 54-year-old is seen by many within Hyundai as a key appointment as he brings almost 30 years’ experience with him.
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During that time, he has routinely featured at motorsport’s sharp end and has enjoyed successful spells in rallycross and TCR as well as a stint in Formula 1 with Williams Racing.
He was part of the all-conquering Volkswagen Motorsport effort that clinched four consecutive WRC drivers’, co-drivers’, and manufacturers titles between 2013 and 2016.
The Frenchman’s new role will see him liaise with the relevant R&D groups within Hyundai Motor Company worldwide, the team has said, and work closely with WRC Programme Manager Christian Loriaux – the man who has been credited with enhancing the i20 N Rally1 car’s competitiveness on all surfaces.
Demaison’s responsibilities extend to supporting Sean Kim – the President of Hyundai Motorsport – and Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul.
On his appointment, Demaison said: “I am tremendously excited to start this new role with Hyundai Motorsport.
“It is clear that Hyundai has fantastic potential in the motorsport realm, both in existing endeavours and also looking to future initiatives, especially electric motorsport programmes.
“My remit is to enhance and grow the capabilities of the Hyundai Motorsport operation to be one of the best globally.
“I relish this challenge and look forward to working with the personnel who have already achieved great things in WRC and their customer racing programmes.”
Abiteboul, who inherited the team principal position from Julien Moncet at the start of the year, believes Demaison is a natural fit.
“After taking some time to immerse myself in the company and its activities, it became clear to me that we needed a unifying presence within our technical departments,” he said.
“Having François-Xavier onboard as technical director is an incredibly exciting opportunity to amplify and grow Hyundai’s motorsport programmes.
“As well as improving our current competitiveness, FX will help us to define the future of the company by bringing in improvements to our facilities to transform our capabilities to that of a top-tier motorsport organisation.
“He knows what it takes to not only win, but also dominate in motorsport, and it is that experience that we need to channel our efforts and win championship titles in the years to come.”
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