Wed 26 Apr 2023

Lappi: Strategy paid off with Croatia podium

Hyundai Motorsport driver Esapekka Lappi has credited his Croatia Rally podium to a tactical approach to the all-asphalt Zagreb event.

The Finn admitted the changeable conditions on asphalt weren’t his favourite, but he was keen to build on a strong showing with fastest times in Croatia 12 months ago. His third place represented his first podium aboard an i20 N Rally1.

“Our strategy was a good one – it paid off,” Lappi said. “There were some good times and some worse times, we were never really at the top pace, but we were consistent through the rally.

“It’s not an easy event, the tyre choice is complicated – even when it was dry, it was not always clear if the hard or the soft was the better choice. The Tarmac is smooth and you have a lot of pollution, that’s tricky to deal with. When you have the dampness and the cuts, and you should stay on the road, that makes it even more tricky.”

Lappi admitted the emotions of the week, following the loss of team-mate Craig Breen, had been difficult.

He added: “I’m pleased with [the result] and it’s good for the team after what has been a very tough week for everybody. It was a huge push from the team that we came here, that we made this whole livery.

"Everyone here in the service park, they are not forced to be here, they could choose if they wanted to be here. It was not an easy decision to come here for most of us, but we appreciated to drive again."

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