WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Delfi Rally Estonia
Estonia
Starts: Friday, July 5, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Sweden
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Sat 22 Oct 2022

Suninen stretches lead in WRC2

Teemu Suninen is on course to claim his first WRC2 victory of the 2022 season after building a commanding lead on Saturday at RallyRACC - Rally de España.

It was a perfect day for the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 driver, who ended Friday’s opening leg with a 12.7sec lead in the WRC’s premier support category.

He more than doubled that advantage on dry roads in the Costa Daurada hills after punching in three fastest stage times - eventually arriving back to the PortAventura World service park in Salou with a 26.6sec buffer. 

Suninen is no stranger to Spanish success. He won his category here in 2017 and finished runner-up last year, but is yet to triumph at any round this season. With only four short stages remaining on Sunday, a Finnish win is looking increasingly likely.

“I am pleased with today,” smiled Suninen. “We were able to increase the gap to behind and in the afternoon we were able to manage the situation a little bit. 

“It’s been really enjoyable to drive on these roads. It’s nice and flowing and we can even compare it to circuit racing sometimes!”

Škoda Fabia driver Nikolay Gryazin held second overnight but became embroiled in a tight battle for second overall with reigning WRC3 champion Yohan Rossel.

The pendulum swung away from Gryazin and, after seven demanding speed tests, Rossel’s Citroën C3 Rally2 emerged on top with 22.8sec separating the pair at close of play.

Emil Lindholm is on a recovery drive after haemorrhaging over a minute on Friday when a spin resulted in a rear puncture. Driving a Toksport-prepared Fabia, the 26-year-old cut through the pack to finish 41.1sec back from the podium in fourth - just 3.3 clear of Ford Fiesta man Jari Huttunen. 

Lindholm’s nearest title rival Kajetan Kajetanowicz also spun on Friday, although the Pole was unable to climb any higher than sixth. As it stands, the championship will be decided in Japan next month.