FIA

Suninen lands dream
drive in Finland

Rising star Teemu Suninen has won a prize drive in a Citroen DS3 R3T at August’s Neste Oil Rally Finland.

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The 20-year-old, in only his second season of rallying, won a competition to identify a youngster with the potential to become the country’s next top flight driver.

Suninen, the youngest of four shortlisted drivers under 25, was nominated by a jury which featured WRC Manager Michèle Mouton, Jarmo Lehtinen (co-driver to Mikko Hirvonen) and WRC 2 driver Jari Ketomaa after an interview and a series of tests which included pace note writing.

Suninen has tackled only six pace note events but is third in the SM3 class in a Ford Fiesta R2 in the highly competitive Finnish Championship. After a long karting career, he moved into cars and in 2012 won the Super 1600 category at Germany’s round of the European Rallycross Championship.

“It will probably be a rough rally, but we’ll prepare for it with care. I will gather information and tips from drivers who have competed in a similar car to know how to drive it and what to bear in mind.

“I have to be in a good physical condition and concentrate on preparing the pace notes perfectly,” said Suninen, pictured right with co-driver Juha-Pekka Jauhiainen.

The Finn will be supported by DMACK Tyres and Drive DMACK pilot Ketomaa will offer advice during a pre-event test. The car will be run by Finnish squad Printsport.

The competition was organised by Rally Finland and Finnish Rally Championship promoter AKK Sports.

Photo by Jani-Pekka Jauhiainen.

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