Friday, December 1, 2023

Suninen gets Rally1 outings in Estonia and Finland

Teemu Suninen from Finland announced this afternoon that he will be stepping in to the third Hyundai i20 N Rally1 machine for Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT in Rally Estonia and in Rally Finland later this summer.

Suninen and co-driver Mikko Markkula will be part of the re-launched Hyundai Motorsport Driver Development Programme which means they will do developments for the Rally1 car as well as the Hyundai i20 N Rally2. He was already connected to the programme in May when he was spotted testing the Rally1 car in native Finland, where the team is currently having their operation base located at.

He has been representing the team in WRC2 since the end of 2021 after losing the seat at M-Sport Ford WRT and this will be his second and third outings in the top class for the team after joining them, last time being Rally Monza in Italy at the season-finale when Ott Tänak had to miss the event due to personal reasons.

Hyundai had to look for a new driver to share the third car after Craig Breen lost his life during a pre-event test accident ahead of Rally Croatia in April, the fast gravel rallies were planned for Breen this season while Dani Sordo would go for the others. Since the accident Sordo has been driving all of the rallies.

“This is a great opportunity to get back to top tier cars and I have been really missing it. Estonia and Finland have previously been strong rallies for me, but it will be a big challenge to learn the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 hybrid and the hybrid system with limited testing.” Suninen said in his announcement on social medias.

“Both rallies are known as sprint rallies where you need 110% confidence and to push flat out from the first corner to get good results, so that will ask for a lot of patience from me and only time will show our approach. My goal is to learn the car step by step and to gradually show more pace and bring good points for the team.”

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