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Hyundai hands Suninen WRC Rally Chile outing

Teemu Suninen will rejoin Hyundai’s World Rally Championship line-up at Rally Chile next month, the South Korean squad has announced.

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 for WRC rounds in Estonia and Finland, filling the position left by the late Craig Breen.

Suninen 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.

The 29-year-old’s season beyond those events had remained unclear until today’s announcement, which will see Suninen take up the third car for the gravel round in Chile from 28 September - 1 October.

Suninen will return to the seat which will be taken up by veteran Dani Sordo when the WRC reconvenes after its summer break in Greece for the Acropolis Rally from 7-10 September.

Speaking after finishing fourth in Finland, Suninen declared himself content with the progress made in Rally1 machinery after only two events in hybrid-powered cars.

“Yeah it is going well. I started to feel like I can run at quite a high pace but still I was missing something,” he said.

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: McKlein / Motorsport Images

“We just have to work on it and I think it [the speed] will come. I think anyone who jumped into this car at this point of the season would have taken a P4 and a P5, so I would say these are quite good results.”

Hyundai team principal Cyril Abiteboul has also been impressed by how Suninen has adapted to the car since his mid-season promotion from the team’s Rally2 car.

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“Teemu had a number of very strong moments over the [Finland] weekend,” said Abiteboul. “There is a bit of frustration that he was not on the podium, but having that in only your second rally is a sign of our shared ambition.”

Hyundai is yet to announce who will drive its third car for the two remaining rounds of the championship, the all-new Central European Rally (26-29 October) and the season finale in Japan (16-19 November).

This week Hyundai has been preparing for next month’s Acropolis Rally by conducting its pre-event test in Greece.

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