Suninen targets runner-up spot
Finland's Teemu Suninen is targeting a strong haul of points at RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España as he bids to claim the runner-up spot in WRC 2.
Second is the best place on offer after Pontus Tidemand sealed the title at ADAC Rallye Deutschland, and Ford Fiesta R5 driver Suninen, who is currently fifth in the standings, hopes to capitalise on the fact that two of his rivals have not nominated the mixed-surface rally as a points-scoring round.
“We need to be ready and fully focused for the first day on both surfaces so that we can deliver some strong times straight away," he said. "Good points are my main goal as there is still a good chance of clinching silver in WRC 2.”
Eric Camilli and Ole Christian Veiby are second and third in the WRC 2 standings, but aren’t eligible to score points in Spain.
That puts fourth-placed Jan Kopecký as Suninen's chief rival this week. The Czech driver won the WRC 2 class in Spain last year, and he returns as one half of a works Skoda team that also features 20-year-old Juuso Nordgren from Finland.
A former Finnish Junior Champion, Nordgren is the first youngster to be evaluated by Skoda as a possible candidate for a factory drive in 2018. Veiby, another contender, will join the squad at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.
Other notable entries in the 16-strong WRC 2 field include Simone Tempestini (Citroen DS 3 R5) and Benito Guerra (Skoda Fabia R5).
Last year's winner of the DDFT round in Spain Gus Greensmith returns in a Fiesta R5, and Jon Armstrong and Toyota Gazoo development drivers Takamoto Katsuta and Hiroki Arai will drive similar cars.
Yohan Rossel and Yoann Bonato will both field Citroën DS 3 R5 cars, while Lukasz Pieniazek is the sole Peugeot representative in a 208 T16 R5. Italy's Fabio Andolfi will tackle his fifth round of the season in his Hyundai i20 R5.
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