Teemu Suninen is confident he can return M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta to the sharp end of the WRC pace when the series returns to gravel at Rally Turkey (12 - 15 September) this week.
The Finn finished his home event, the most recent gravel fixture, a distant eighth, having spent all three days at the wrong end of the top 10.
Prior to Jyväskylä, the 25-year-old finished second at Rally Italia Sardegna and it is that pace which inspires him moving to Marmaris for similar hot weather and rough roads.
“Finland was one to forget for the young Finn,” said Suninen. “We did as big changes as we could with the dampers and the transmission. We changed the specification of the suspension and the differential, but it wasn’t so good.
“In the extremely fast rallies, we need to have a really smooth car not to slide, so we can maximise the top speed on the straights. In Finland we were not able to do that.
“The needs of the rallies are different and we’re less worried about the next one on gravel. We’re not worried about Turkey, it’s more like Italy there and that result was a good one.”
Suninen finished fourth in Turkey last year and learned a lot.
“I didn’t know so much how to drive in those conditions,” he said. “I had never done that sort of event before and it was hard to know for the tyres, how long would they last. But I did my homework last year and learned about the event. Now we can use that experience.”
Suninen will lead M-Sport Ford for the third round in succession with senior team-mate Elfyn Evans again absent due to a back injury. Pontus Tidemand returns in Evans’ car.