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Fri 24 Nov 2023

Lappi: “I think my season has been 50:50”

Edging local hero Takamoto Katsuta for fourth place at last week’s FORUM8 Rally Japan offered Esapekka Lappi something to smile about as he ended his first season with Hyundai Motorsport.

Early on the final day of the Toyota City-based event, it looked as though the Japanese would pass Lappi for position, only for EP to find a set-up which worked through the repeated loop. He held fourth and ended his season with a solid finish.


“It’s good to come to the end of such a trick rally without damaging the car,” he said. “On Friday, it was tough. It was tough to make any speed in those conditions, it was about surviving. After that, the pace was getting better and better by the day.


“I couldn’t match Katsuta in the morning on Sunday, but we made a change to the suspension and it worked. We found something at the right time to stop him, which was important for that fight. 

“I think my season has been 50:50. At the beginning I was learning a lot, the middle of the season was really good, but the end was not so strong.”


The highlight was four podiums in five rallies between Croatia Rally and Rally Estonia.  


“I’m looking forward to coming back even better in 2024,” added the Finn.


Lappi has been confirmed with a part-time programme with the Alzenau-based team in 2024.