Teemu Suninen faces tough situation – “Have to be on the edge all the time”

Teemu Suninen's season opener at the Rally de Portugal ended in a crash just over a week ago.
Teemu Suninen
Teemu Suninen. Photo by: Vincent Thuillier/Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
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Suninen had been absent from WRC events for some time, last competing in the Central European Rally with a Rally1 car last October. This year, he has had to make do with Hyundai’s Rally2 car, which is scheduled to compete in a series of demanding gravel rallies throughout the summer.

“The plan was to compete in the next five rallies including this one—Sardinia, Poland, Latvia, and Finland. After that, we’ll decide what to race based on the situation,” Suninen told RallyJournal.com in Portugal.

This season, Hyundai’s Rally2 car has not achieved success in the WRC. The harsh reality is that competitors like Skoda, Toyota, and Citroen are ahead in terms of performance. Yet, Suninen is expected to deliver in every rally he starts.

“Of course, I should again show what I can do, as probably last year too. I should aim for good results, but I guess I need to focus more on my own performance to achieve the best possible result every time,” Suninen considered.

When the equipment is lacking, Suninen must constantly drive at the limits of his capabilities to achieve any notable result.

“It’s true that you have to be on the edge all the time. This often means using the tyres more, which is a challenge in these rallies,” Suninen reflected.

Although the current situation is not optimal, Suninen’s goal remains the top class. Last year, he managed a fourth-place finish on the gravel roads of Central Finland. In Chile last September, a second place was within reach, but it vanished due to a crash on the penultimate stage.

“It would be great to get there. The rallies we did there went quite well, and the pace was improving. After a couple of rallies of practice, we reached podium pace. In that sense, you would think that a spot was deserved, but it wasn’t enough,” Suninen stated.

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