Friday | 14 May 2021

Suninen extols benefits of Fiesta WRC2 drives

Teemu Suninen is confident his time in a Ford Fiesta Rally2 this season will put him in a stronger position for driving a new hybrid-generation Rally1 car in 2022.

The M-Sport Ford driver has a programme combining events in a Fiesta World Rally Car and the Rally2 car this year.

Last time out at the Croatia Rally, he finished second in WRC2 and was quick to point to the benefits of driving the second-tier car, which he will do again at next week’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

“Next year with Rally1 car, there’s no centre differential and we’re back to a [stick] gearshift and there’s going to be less aerodynamics,” he said.

Video: Croatia Rally WRC2 highlights

“For the driving, this is more similar to the current Rally2 cars. OK, there’s no battery and a lot more power coming, like we will have for Rally1, but the actual driving style is maybe like [the] R5 car. To take more experience of driving a car in specification like this is good.

“I enjoyed Croatia – it was a good challenge. We finished second after a difficult [pre-event] test and I think that’s one of the best results for the car. Let’s see what comes in Portugal.”

Suninen’s team-mate, Adrien Fourmaux, will remain in the Fiesta World Rally Car in Portugal. The pair are expected to switch for next month’s Rally Italia Sardegna.

“The main thing is that I am driving,” said Suninen. “Like I said, there’s a strong comparison [between Rally2] and the car for next year, so I really don’t mind driving in WRC2 so much.”

Rally rewind: Portugal 2019

Rally rewind: Portugal 2019

It’s been two years since Vodafone Rally de Portugal hosted the WRC. A week ahead of the 2021 fixture (20 - 23 May), we recall ...

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Suninen has a good record on next week’s Matosinhos-based WRC counter, finishing fourth in 2019 and on the podium with third the previous year.

• Full coverage from Vodafone Rally de Portugal 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.

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