Thu 04 May 2023

Reliable Hyundai feeding Lappi’s confidence

Esapekka Lappi will arrive to next week’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal (11 - 14 May) feeling buoyed by the reliability of his Hyundai i20 N Rally1.

Lappi is four rounds into his debut season with Hyundai Motorsport and has not been hindered by any mechanical failures at all so far. He led the previous gravel rally in Mexico before going off the road and, last time out in Croatia, scored his first podium for the team.

With a sequence of hot and gruelling gravel fixtures coming up, that consistency is giving the Finn an added sense of assurance.

“[In Croatia] we didn’t have any issues, and in Mexico we had no issues either apart from [hitting] a pole - but that’s not really a reliability issue,” Lappi told “In Sweden we also had nothing, so it looks to be good.

“I believe everyone in the factory is working flat out and always trying to design some new things that we can try in the tests, because for sure we want to develop the car as well and make better performance.”

Lappi will enjoy the advantage of starting fifth on the road next week in Portugal, an event on which hard and rocky roads covered by soft and sandy gravel offer little grip for early runners.

“I haven’t really checked the points, but I guess we are still sixth overall [in the championship],” he admitted. “I’m feeling more and more comfortable on gravel in the car, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Trailer: Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2023
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM