|Date of Birth||01.02.1994|
|First Rally||2014, Neste Rally Finland|
The story so far
After starting his career in 2013, Suninen made his mark at Rally Finland a year later when, on his WRC debut, he won the WRC 3 class. He was picked up by Toyota Motorsport in Cologne who signed him to its TMG Junior Driver Development Programme.
The deal got him six WRC outings in 2015 with the Oreca team, initially in an R3 spec Citroën DS 3 and later a Ford Fiesta R5. He added two more rounds himself, driving a privately-run Skoda Fabia R5. Highlights were a WRC 3 win at Rally Italia Sardegna with the DS 3 and a WRC 2 win in Britain in the Skoda.
Suninen remained in TMG’s development scheme in 2016 and contested the full WRC 2 season in a Fabia R5. Wins in Mexico, Sardinia and Poland made him one of the favourites to take the title, but he lost out by 10 points to Esapekka Lappi.
More WRC 2 rounds followed in 2017 at the wheel of a Fiesta R5 prepared by M-Sport, but it was two outings in a Fiesta World Rally Car - when he won a stage in Poland and almost claimed a podium in Finland - that made the biggest impression.
Suninen became a vital member of the M-Sport Ford line-up in 2018. A part-time programme expanded to the point that he drove 11 of the 13 rallies in a World Rally Car and clinched a maiden podium with third place in Portugal.
The arrival of veteran co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen midway through 2019 provided valuable expertise for Suninen, who bagged a career-best second in their first rally together in Italy.
Suninen will share M-Sport Ford’s second Fiesta in 2021 in a schedule yet to be finalised. Former co-driver Mikko Markkula returns to his side after Lehtinen’s decision to step down.