Teemu Suninen faces an impossible situation in the WRC – a honest admission from the Finn

Hyundai Rally2 driver Teemu Suninen faced significant challenges in the Rally Sardinia last week.
Teemu Suninen
Teemu Suninen
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Suninen’s pace was not enough to keep up with the WRC2 class leaders, and his rally ultimately fell apart on Saturday.

Suninen was forced to retire due to a technical issue during the eighth special stage. He had anticipated major challenges before the race, as he explained to RallyJournal.com

Hyundai’s Rally2 car does not match Toyota and Skoda in terms of competitiveness, which became evident once again in Sardinia.

“The car is quite good to drive and fun as long as you don’t have to compare times with others too much,” Suninen told RallyJournal.com

According to Suninen, the car suits his driving style well, but it simply lacks the necessary speed.

“If the suspension had a bit more give, it would be safer to drive. The risk of punctures would be smaller – and there are all these little things,” Suninen pondered.

Could rule changes help his career?

The WRC rule changes have been a hot topic all season. The series aims to bring more drivers and cars to the top class.

Suninen competed in four WRC events with a Rally1 car last season but did not secure a top-class spot for this season.

“I wouldn’t mind at all if there were more cars in the top class,” Suninen admitted.

“Now that I’ve been watching from the sidelines, it is a bit dull that there aren’t many cars in the top class. If one of the top drivers gets a puncture, the whole race’s interest hinges on that,” Suninen criticized.

Suninen’s future remains uncertain. He is currently competing in the WRC2 class, but his plans beyond this season are not set. He hasn’t had much discussion with Hyundai’s management.

“There haven’t been any more discussions. Probably after Portugal wasn’t the right time either,” Suninen said, referring to his retirement in the event before Sardinia.

Suninen believes he still has a chance to return to a Rally1 car, but it would require success this season. However, achieving successful performances is difficult if the car does not provide the opportunity.

“Now that I’ve seen a few drivers’ performances in Rally1, there’s probably more appreciation for my performances. So, you would think I have a chance. But people tend to remember only the last race. I need to perform well this year,” Suninen said candidly.

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