|Date of Birth||17.01.1991|
|First Rally||2011, Rally Finland|
A lack of funding dashed Esapekka Lappi’s hopes of a career in circuit racing and at the age of 20 he switched his focus to rallying, rapidly making his mark by being named Rookie of the Year in Finland in 2010.
His big breakthrough came in 2012 when he won all seven rounds of the Finnish Championship to lift the national title. He was signed by Skoda Motorsport the same year and won his debut event in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) in Poland.
In 2013 Lappi finished runner-up in the FIA Asia-Pacific series after taking three victories, and made his mark in the WRC by winning WRC 2 in Portugal. A full ERC campaign followed in 2014 with Skoda and the Finn scored three wins to lift the title in a Fabia S2000.
WRC 2 was the focus in 2015 as Lappi was handed an all-new Fabia R5, but late season misfortunes dashed his hopes after a promising start.
After romping to the WRC 2 title in 2016, Lappi was rewarded with an eight-rally programme at the wheel of a Toyota Yaris WRC in 2017. He quickly acclimatised to the sport’s top level and won his home rally in Finland on only his fourth drive.
A mixed 2018 brought three podiums and fifth place in the championship, as well as helping Toyota Gazoo to win the manufacturers’ crown.
He left the Japanese manufacturer for Citroën in 2019 but struggled for confidence in the C3 and three second-place finishes masked a frustrating year. The French manufacturer’s WRC departure meant Lappi was on the move again and he led the M-Sport Ford team in 2020, finishing sixth in the standings.
He left the British squad at the end of the year and will drive a Volkswagen Polo GTI in WRC2 in 2021 with the Movisport team. Long-time co-driver Janne Ferm will continue to call the pace notes.