Fri 23 Feb 2024

Lappi continues to bask in Rally Sweden success

Almost a week on from his stellar second FIA World Rally Championship win, Esapekka Lappi can still revel in the praise of his Hyundai Motorsport colleagues.

The Finn’s Umeå success was popular all around the service park, but no more so than in his own Hyundai team. Team-mate and world championship leader Thierry Neuville was fulsome in his admiration of Lappi’s return to the winners’ circle.

“It was a fabulous result for him,” said Neuville. “It was tough for him last year, so it’s really nice to see him coming back and winning like this – and, of course, it’s good for the team.“

Team principal Cyril Abiteboul added: “It’s been a long wait for EP and Janne [Ferm, co-driver], and they have done a mega job this weekend. I would like to thank [former Hyundai Motorsport president] Sean Kim for his trust in EP last year when we faced moments of doubt. We knew having a shared car would be an advantage for road position in a rally like this one, but equally the job they have done to navigate a number of challenges has been fantastic.” 

Having gone quickest on Thursday morning’s shakedown, Lappi was off the pace on the rally’s opening stage later that day, ending it 4.6sec down on Kalle Rovanperä to be seventh overall. But it was the only blip on the weekend for Lappi. Taking the lead on Friday’s penultimate stage, he saw off the close attentions of Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta on Saturday morning before controlling a 1m30s lead to the end.

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