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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Estonia WRC comeback drive proved “I belong at this stage”

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Suninen returned to rallying’s prime tier final weekend after receiving a name up from Hyundai to drive the third i20 N Rally1 that has been shared between Dani Sordo and the late Craig Breen this season. 

Estonia marked Suninen’s first top-level WRC outing since standing in for Ott Tanak at Hyundai for the 2021 Rally Monza season finale after parting company with M-Sport mid-season during a turbulent campaign

Regardless of restricted mileage behind the wheel of the WRC’s newest technology hybrid machines, the Finn impressed all through to complete fifth forward of M-Sport’s Pierre-Louis Loubet, Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta, and the recovering M-Sport Puma of Tanak, who was hit by a five-minute penalty for changing an engine after shakedown.

Reflecting on difficult interval of his profession, which included a drop right down to the WRC2 class final yr, Suninen believes an emotional drive in Estonia has proved his expertise. 

Perception: Five things you may have missed in Estonia

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“I believe it was a very good present that I belong at this stage,” Suninen instructed Autosport. 

“I actually prefer to work at this stage, so I wish to do the whole lot completely and at these large manufacturing unit groups we now have sufficient folks to deal with all areas and have the whole lot good. 

“The staff helps me with the driving, and the quantity of knowledge I’m getting is simply large. I prefer to work in that means.  

“It’s by no means straightforward to leap to a automotive that Craig was driving. Everybody liked him and how briskly he was.

Teemu Suninen, Hyundai World Rally Staff

Picture by: Romain Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport

“In fact I wished to be someplace shut and I consider at the very least I managed to work on his stage. It was an emotional second.

“It is extremely totally different automotive from any of the rally automobiles. It has a whole lot of aero, a very highly effective engine and the hybrid. 

“The hybrid adjustments issues rather a lot and it adjustments the fundamentals [of] driving, which is what we now have realized within the final 15 years. I really feel fortunate I used to be in a position to adapt and study quick to get to this stage. I believe I managed to do what I used to be requested to do.”

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Suninen’s efficiency has raised expectations forward of his second outing driving the i20 N Rally1 automotive at Rally Finland subsequent week.

“I consider the expectations are getting increased and better each time I drive,” he added. 

“I’ve to focus on the steps that I’m taking however I’m nonetheless the third automotive in Finland. I wish to enhance my tempo step-by-step and convey my routine to the extent of the others.”  

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