Hyundai reveals who will drive the third factory car in the Central Europe Rally in October: Teemu Suninen will return to the cockpit of the i20 N Rally1
Teemu Suninen will pilot the third Hyundai i20 N Rallye1 at the Central Europe Rally (6-9 October), the penultimate round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) season. The Finn, who had to give up his place for veteran Dani Sordo at the Rally of Greece, will contest his sixth WRC round of the season in October and his first asphalt rally at the same time.
In preparation for the Central Europe Rally in the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany, Suninen will take part in the final round of the Austrian Rally Championship this weekend. The 29-year-old entered the Portugal Rally in May as a replacement for the late Craig Breen and made a good impression straight away.
Subsequently, the Finn also competed in Sardinia, Estonia and Finland. In Estonia, the Hyundai driver finished fifth, and at his home rally he just missed the podium in fourth place. Suninen will also be in the Hyundai cockpit at the next WRC round in Chile (28.09. to 01.10).
Sordo instead of Suninen at WRC finale?
The other two Hyundai i20 N Rally1 cars will be driven by Esapekka Lappi and Thierry Neuville as usual. The Belgian is currently third in the overall standings, but does not believe he will be able to catch leader Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota) after his retirement at the Acropolis Rally.
At the Central Europe Rally, Suninen is likely to meet Sebastien Ogier, who may be turning the wheel in the third Toyota GR Yaris. However, it could be the last rally appearance of the season for both drivers, as Hyundai driver Sordo, who finished third on the podium in Greece, has already hinted at competing again for Hyundai in the season finale in Japan (16-19 November).
However, an official confirmation from Hyundai is still pending. It is also not yet clear what will happen to Sordo and Suninen next year. However, it is conceivable that the Finn will get a permanent cockpit for the 2024 season after his strong Rally 1 debut.