TEEMU SUNINEN

Brimming with determination and ambition, Finnish hotshot Suninen is one of the WRC’s brightest young talents.

Nationality FIN
Date of Birth 01.02.1994
Birthplace Tuusula, Finland
First Rally 2014, Neste Rally Finland
Rally Wins -
Website https://www.teemusuninen.com/

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 reunited with co-driver Mikko Markkula in 2021 and the pair shared M-Sport Ford’s second Fiesta with Adrien Fourmaux, alternating between a World Rally Car and Rally2 machinery. After a frustrating campaign, Suninen announced his departure from the British squad in August 

He steered a Volkswagen Polo to a convincing WRC2 victory at his home rally in Finland. The performance caught the eye of Hyundai, which gave him a drive in their support category challenger in Spain. He impressed by finishing second in WRC2.

When Ott Tänak announced he would miss the final round at FORUM8 ACI Rally Monza due to family commitments, Suninen was drafted in as his replacement in a Hyundai i20 World Rally Car.

 

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