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Shock WRC return “essential” for Suninen’s 2022 future

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The Finn has been drafted in by the Korean marque to stand-in for 2019 world champion Ott Tanak following his withdrawal from next weekend’s season finale as a consequence of private household issues.

Tanak’s absence has introduced Suninen a shock return to the WRC having elected to leave a split WRC and WRC2 programme at M-Sport Ford mid-season.  

Since departing the Ford squad, the 27-year-old has contested WRC occasions in Finland and Spain final month, first driving a privately run Volkswagen, earlier than Hyundai swooped to add the Finn to its WRC2 programme.

Together with his 2022 plans but to be resolved, the chance at Monza may open doorways for subsequent season. A WRC2 drive with Hyundai is considered Suninen’s almost definitely choice as he seems to rebuild his profession again to rallying’s prime stage.

“I’d say it’s a very powerful rally in my profession for the second,” he instructed Autosport. 

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“It may possibly make some variations for subsequent 12 months, however it’s higher to not take any dangers [in Monza] and simply make the perfect of it as I can.

“With Hyundai, we’ve been speaking about WRC2 however my primary goal is to get a whole lot of rallies, good testing and to have time behind the wheel. 

“I really feel like I’ve been lack time behind the wheel and actually apply makes you a greater and stronger driver, and that’s my objective. 

“After all if there’s a probability for Rally1, I want to go for it. However the primary objective is to get place the place we will get a drive and assessments.”

Teemu Suninen, Mikko Markkula, Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai NG i20

Picture by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

To organize for a maiden outing within the Hyundai i20 WRC at Rally Monza, Suninen has performed a check day and whereas stunned by how nicely he tailored to the automotive, he admits he has massive footwear to fill in Tanak’s absence.

“Actually I’m stunned to regulate to the automotive in such a Positive manner,” he added.

“The engine feels actually good and on the chassis facet I acquired a reasonably good stability with the automotive – I wasn’t struggling badly. 

“After all there may be at all times some small superb tuning, however ultimately you possibly can’t get the automotive proper in someday. I proud of the stability, however I consider there may be nonetheless one thing small to seek out out. I used to be positively stunned with the automotive.

“I need to do good outcomes there, however I believe I’ve fairly massive boots to fill in Ott’s automotive. I’ll attempt to get a clear run and a clear rally and step-by-step improve velocity. 

“If I really feel assured within the automotive, we’ll attempt to go for it. The very fact is I’ve someday expertise within the automotive, so we’re not actually on the identical stage. 

“If the sensation is sweet and for positive I’m a race driver, so I need to be a the others.”

Suninen is just not the one new face to be drafted in for Rally Monza, as Hyundai team-mate Oliver Solberg and former M-Sport secure mate Gus Greensmith will introduce new co-drivers.

Solberg, who will drive a 2C Competitors Hyundai i20, will staff up with Elliott Edmondson, whereas Greensmith has elected to deliver Jonas Andersson in as his fourth co-driver of the season following the retirement of his earlier navigator Chris Patterson.

Andersson has been calling the pacenotes for WRC2 driver Ole Christian Veiby this season.

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