Teemu Suninen bids to continue his rich vein of form at RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España this weekend to move closer to sealing the WRC 2 title.
The Finn has two wins and a second place from his last three outings. He is second in the standings, 27 points behind season-long leader Elfyn Evans, but can score in Spain and Great Britain later this month while Evans’ has completed his nominated rounds.
Suninen, who drives a Skoda Fabia R5, is less comfortable on asphalt than gravel and must make the most of Friday’s dirt roads before this 11th round of the season switches to sealed surfaces on Saturday and Sunday.
In 2015 Pontus Tidemand and Jan Kopecký finished first and second in WRC 2 in Spain and the Skoda Motorsport duo need a win to keep alive their title hopes.
“I’m looking forward to Rally Spain,” said Czech driver Kopecký. “It will all come down to who adapts quickest to the different surfaces. If I can manage that, I have a good chance of winning. After three runner-up finishes in a row in WRC 2, it’s about time I won one.”
Kopecký and Tidemand are fifth and seventh in the points in Fabia R5s, sandwiching Germany’s Armin Kremer, who comes to Spain on the back of a podium finish at his home round in August.
Home hopes rest on the shoulders of José Suarez in a Peugeot 208 R5, while Marius Aasen and Julien Maurin will target strong finishes in a Ford Fiesta R5 and a Fabia R5 respectively.
An unknown quantity will be Ole Christian Veiby. Spain is the first of two WRC 2 outings for the Norwegian, who will miss the final round of his Junior WRC campaign to drive a Fabia R5 in Britain also.
“This is a great chance, a big step forward and an investment in my future career. To go from a two-wheel drive car to a four-wheel drive car is a big transition,” said Veiby, who finished sixth at Rally Sweden in the same car.