Teemu Suninen comments on Hyundai’s driver – “He hasn’t driven any better than me”

Teemu Suninen's WRC season did not get off to a spectacular start in Portugal last week.
Teemu Suninen.
Teemu Suninen. Photo by: Dufour Fabien/ Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Driving the Hyundai Rally2 car, Suninen crashed out on the fifth special stage in Arganil. The car slid off the road following a jump. There was strong suspicion in the Finnish driver’s camp that the car’s steering was damaged upon landing from the jump.

“It’s hard to prove, but the car just didn’t respond at all to the steering when I tried to turn,” Suninen remarked to RallyJournal.com

Suninen was eyeing a spot in Hyundai’s factory team this year, but alongside Esapekka Lappi and Dani Sordo in the third car, Andreas Mikkelsen was chosen instead. The Norwegian has been completely off pace in the Rally Monte Carlo and Croatia Rally he participated in.

“Last year’s WRC2 champion. He certainly hasn’t driven any better than me”, Suninen fired off.

With his comment, Suninen referred to the four WRC events he drove in Hyundai’s Rally1 car last year. In Estonia, Suninen finished fifth, fourth in Finland, and was even on course for second in Chile last September before crashing out on the penultimate special stage.

Mikkelsen has repeatedly blamed his lack of pace on his experience. The Norwegian undoubtedly had a long break from top-tier cars, but he has gained considerable asphalt experience early this year.

“The fact is, it’s hard to start competing cold. We used just one official test day, so I didn’t have much experience and testing either,” Suninen said.

“Sure, there was a test area in Finland, but when you just drive the same road back and forth, that’s not the best option for an inexperienced driver.”

If Mikkelsen continues his lacklustre performances later this season, there might again be an opening at Hyundai. Suninen’s goal is to return to the top class, but the harsh reality is that it’s hard to make an impression in the WRC2 class driving a Korean brand’s Rally2 car.

“I hope to get another chance. For that to happen, though, I need to perform well. Winning as much as possible would be ideal, but even being on the podium would certainly be a good result,” Suninen contemplated.

Also check out

  • Latest news