Devine secures Hungary Hyundai run ahead of possible 2020 ERC switch
Callum Devine will contest next month’s season-deciding Rally Hungary ahead of a possible FIA European Rally Championship bid in 2020.
Irishman Devine, 25, has linked up with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing to drive a Hyundai i20 R5 with the support of his country’s ASN, Motorsport Ireland.
Co-driven by Brian Hoy, Devine is part of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy and was a frontrunner in the 2019 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, scoring one win and two podiums. He has previous experience at world championship level and has three ERC starts to his name from earlier in his career.
“I’m planning an ERC campaign next year so, thanks to Andrew Johns at Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing and the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, we managed to put a package together to do Hungary. It will be great experience for next year and will give us plenty to work on over the winter.”
Although Devine has completed a brief acclimatisation session in a Hyundai i20 R5, his first meaningful running will be during the Rally Hungary official test on Tuesday 5 November. “I’ve had a short test in a Hyundai thanks to the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy around a circuit which was some help but you can’t beat the real thing on closed roads,” said Devine. “We have to learn the event and the car but hopefully we can show some good pace also. I enjoy a challenge and this will be just that.”
Like the bulk of the ERC registered drivers competing on Rally Hungary, Devine has no experience of the asphalt stages around host city Nyíregyháza. “I’ve been watching some onboard videos and the event looks quite specialist with its rough roads and slippery conditions at that time of year,” said Devine, who works in the construction industry when he’s not. rallying. “I’m used to driving on wet Tarmac in Ireland but you seem to able to cut more on the continent and the type of Tarmac is different. We’ll know more after our test where we’ll try find a good set-up.”
Of his ERC aspirations, Devine said: “I have been following the ERC for a long time now, the competition is very high and the fact that the title is going down to the final round has created a lot of interest. If we can provide a surprise, all the better. I’d like to thank Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racine for giving myself and Brian this wonderful opportunity. I would also like to thank all my regular sponsors who have backed me to date, this opportunity wouldn’t have come about without them either.”