From Christer Bofeldt [ 17/09/2003 ].
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It has been rumoured for a while, fueled by news lately that there was an argument between Hyundai headquarters in Korea and the make's preparation business MSD in the UK. Further there was a lack of driver negotiations for next season and there have been rumours that MSD have sent home their staff for the time being. This would be a situation even worse than during rallies Monte Carlo and Sweden earlier this year, when the team was heavily underfinanced and had no testing at all. For Hyundai to withdraw from World championship rallying from 2004 becomes ever more likely now. Although there is still no official word, a telefon conversation between our Swedish friend Christer Bofeld and MSD's Stephen Kitson this afternoon brought some more light into the situation.
Most of the news around Hyundai lately have been rumours. But there is no smoke without fire. It seems clear that talks between Hyundai Motor Company and Motor Sport Development MSD have not gone well lately. On the phone MSD's Stephen Kitson has confirmed that the cooperation between Hyundai Motor Company and MSD have been broken off with immediate effect. Quite understandably Stephen was not very keen to comment on any rumours. But he did inform that there will be an official announcement at the weekend. There is still further discussion between MSD and Hyundai, however for the time being the MSD staff has been sent home.
That the cooperation between MSD and Hyundai has split with "immediate effect" brings up another worry: Will they even finish this season? It is an awkward situation as by the World Championship regulations, should Hyundai not compete in all events of the season with at least two cars, they are bound to receive a hefty fine and have their manufacturer points scored this season cancelled. On the question if the team will start in the next event in San Remo, Stephen Kitson's reply was: "No comment."