Tuesday | 31 Mar 2015

Toyota signs Suninen to junior squad

Toyota Motorsport has added Finn Teemu Suninen to its junior driver development squad as it continues its build towards its WRC return in 2017.

The 21-year-old (pictured above) joins Frenchman Eric Camilli and they will help develop the Yaris WRC alongside experienced test duo Stéphane Sarrazin and Sebastian Lindholm.

Suninen will compete in WRC 3 this year while Camilli (pictured bottom) will tackle WRC 2, and finished fourth in his season debut at January’s Rallye Monte-Carlo. Both will drive with French team Oreca Racing.

They are expected to start the rounds in Portugal, Italy, Finland, Germany and France, with Camilli going on to end his season in Spain. 

After several years in karting, Suninen made his rallying debut in 2013 and won the Fiesta Sport Trophy in Finland last year. He made his mark internationally by winning WRC 3 on his championship debut in Finland after being highlighted as one to watch on wrc.com.

“Toyota has such a strong reputation and history in rally, it’s a great honour to be selected by TMG to be a part of their return,” said Suninen. “I can’t wait to get started, I will give my maximum to repay the faith shown in me.

Teemu Suninen - WRC 3 winner in Finland in 2014

“My target is to learn as much as possible, because I am still early in my rally career. I want to grow with the team and I’m looking forward to working alongside Stéphane, Sebastian and Eric. There is a positive and professional atmosphere within the team which is very motivating.”

Toyota Motorsport president Yoshiaki Kinoshita said the team had been impressed with both drivers since starting to work with them since the beginning of the year. 

“Both have huge potential in rally, they are extremely fast but also intelligent and methodical. These are qualities which are necessary to succeed in this discipline.

“We tested several young drivers late last year and Eric and Teemu both stood out as having strong potential so we expect to grow as a team together with them,” he said.

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