Monday | 22 Feb 2021

Suninen closes door on Monte crash

Teemu Suninen has put last month’s big Rallye Monte-Carlo shunt out of his mind ahead of this week’s Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox (26 - 28 February).

The Finn wrecked his Ford Fiesta World Rally Car after crashing near the finish of the opening stage of the FIA World Rally Championship’s season-opener, having set stunning pace in the initial kilometres.

Suninen’s approach to the series’ only pure winter fixture, which starts on Friday, is to push as hard as possible to demonstrate the continued speed from the M-Sport Ford car.

“I will be giving this rally everything, like always,” said Suninen. “For me, what happened in Monte was unlucky. I was not driving over the edge, it was unlucky accident.

Video: Arctic Rally Finland preview

“I’m not thinking about that at all. I will start Arctic and try really to drive fast and clean. I want to show more of what this team and this car can do.”

Suninen is excited to be competing at home for the first time in 18 months when the Lapland-based event gets underway.

“OK, we have the new [Pirelli] tyre to think of and maybe there will be some questions from that side on the rally, but for me, I am looking forward. I think we have a good chance with this rally,” he said.

The 27-year-old tested his Fiesta close to Rovaniemi on Saturday (pictured above) in readiness for his first Arctic outing since 2014.

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“I love to drive in these conditions, in the snow. I did Arctic before, but it was quite a long time ago. There’s no chance for me to remember the stages in the north. But the feeling from driving on full snow and ice roads like this is really special,” he enthused.

“We have to see what will be the conditions on the rally, but if there’s a lot of snow falling then it can maybe be an advantage to be further back [in the running order],” added Suninen, who starts the opening leg eighth of the 13 World Rally Car entrants.

• Full coverage from Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.