Lappi `just a passenger´ in Sweden crash

Esapekka Lappi believed his Rally Sweden was over last Friday when a dramatic high-speed crash left his car spinning through the air.

Instead, the Finn came away with second place on only his second competitive outing in Citroën's C3 WRC.

Caught out in a fifth-gear right-hand corner on SS5, Lappi hit a snowbank and his car was pitched high into the air and spun around 360 degrees [see video below]. Miraculously, it landed on its wheels and he completed the stage.

Lappi admitted he could do nothing to recover the spin. "You are just a passenger and I felt: “OK, this is over now…” he said.

"You cannot understand what is happening, you just wait. When the car stopped, I put the first gear and we started to drive again, everything was working. Janne [co-driver Ferm] was saying “Something must be broken” but nothing was broken, we just continued."

Despite the violence of the crash, Lappi denied it had knocked his confidence.

"I don’t really think it did. We struggled a bit, we lost the front splitter so the front aero was not working at all – this was interesting when the front of the car was coming really high in fifth and sixth gears," he explained.

Lappi rounded off the rally by grabbing the final bonus point in Sunday’s Wolf Power Stage.

"I'm delighted with this result. It kick starts our season and augurs really well for the rest of the year,” he said.

Citroën Racing boss Pierre Budar admitted he was surprised by Lappi’s podium.

“Obviously, we knew that they were capable of producing performances like this one, but they impressed us again with their relaxed, controlled approach, gradually upping their rhythm after their spin,” he said.

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