Tuesday | 27 Jul 2021

Suninen shuts door on disappointing Estonia outing

M-Sport Ford’s Teemu Suninen says he will take some time to ‘recharge the batteries’ before next month’s Renties Ypres Rally Belgium (13 - 15 August).

The Finn finished sixth at Rally Estonia earlier this month, but struggled for pace for much of a rally at which he’d been expected to go well.

He returned to a factory Ford Fiesta World Rally Car in Estonia but will be replaced by Adrien Fourmaux, with whom he is sharing the top-level car across the 2021 campaign, for the Ypres-based asphalt affair. Suninen will instead drive a Fiesta Rally2 in the WRC2 support category.

“I have to recharge the batteries and start with a new mind for the rally,” explained Suninen.

Video: Rally Estonia M-Sport Ford onboards

“I was quite disappointed [with Rally Estonia]. I think I had maybe two good stages – the first city stage and the last forest stage where we felt the car is working OK and I had good confidence. I tried to get some good time, and managed to do it.

“But generally the rally was quite difficult and challenging. Right now, I feel a little bit the lack of seat time and general lack of driving.”

Coming off the back of two cars finishing in the top five at Safari Rally Kenya, team principal Richard Millener admitted round seven was disappointing.

“It’s fair to say this wasn’t the result or performance we were hoping for after Safari Rally Kenya,” said Millener, “Before the start we would have been happy to have one car in the top six, but we all know it could have been better.”

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Suninen lost time in the opening leg with a puncture and an engine problem, while team-mate Gus Greensmith made an early exit on the same day.

“It was frustrating for Gus and Teemu that engine-related issues meant they weren’t part of the fight,” added Millener. “Despite the setbacks, they both gave everything and got lots of important kilometres under their belts, which is what we always ask of them.”