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WRC Central Europe Rally

Hyundai announces line-up for WRC Central European Rally

Hyundai has announced that Teemu Suninen will pilot its third factory World Rally Championship entry for next month’s Central European Rally, the penultimate round of the season.

Teemu Suninen, Mikko Markkula, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

The Finn was promoted to Hyundai’s third factory i20 N Rally1 car, shared with Dani Sordo, for WRC rounds in Estonia and Finland, filling the position left by the late Craig Breen.

Last month the Korean marque revealed that Suninen will also be handed an opportunity for a third gravel rally when the WRC returns to Chile, for the first time since 2019, at the end of the month.

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Hyundai has now offered Suninen a first WRC Rally outing on asphalt, courtesy of the inaugural Central European Rally from (6-9 October). The rally will cross the border of three counties utilising roads in the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany.

It is also anticipated that Suninen will come up against Sebastien Ogier, who appears likely to take the wheel of Toyota’s third GR Yaris for that round. The Frenchman suggested last weekend that the round would “probably” be his next this year.

To help prepare for the rally, Suninen appears set to tackle the final round of the Austrian national championship, the OBM Bucklige Welt Rallye, behind the wheel of a i20 N Rally1 car this weekend.

Teemu Suninen, Mikko Markkula, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Teemu Suninen, Mikko Markkula, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Vincent Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport

Suninen has impressed in both outings on fast gravel stages, finishing fifth in Estonia before following that result up with a fourth at his home event in Finland.

Hyundai’s driver line-up announcement appears to pave the way for Sordo to return to Hyundai’s third car for the season finale in Japan from 16-19 November.

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The 40-year-old contested the round last year which ended in retirement when his car burst into flames.

Sordo rejoined the Hyundai squad last weekend in Greece, where he finished third to claim his 56th career WRC podium that podium that moved him to tied ninth on the championship’s all-time podium finishers list.

Speaking in the post-event press conference h suggested that Japan would be his next outing although Hyundai is yet to confirm this.

The veteran Spaniard’s future beyond this season with Hyundai is also yet to be determined.

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