Happiest in years – so what’s next for Lappi?

A dominant Arctic display left Lappi in great spirits, we asked the 2017 Rally Finland winner what he plans to do next

Esapekka Lappi

Hopeful of further World Rally Championship outings this season, Arctic Rally Finland star Esapekka Lappi is ready to sacrifice faster events in favor of demonstrating his speed on some of the world’s more technical roads.

The Finn dominated the WRC2 class on the championship’s first-ever visit to the Arctic Circle, and with a Rally Finland win already under his belt, his CV is already strong enough when it comes to quick events.

“I would like to do more rallies this year,” he said, “but maybe places like Portugal could be better – I think everybody knows I’m fast on fast rallies.

“I’m really happy with what we did on the Arctic. I wanted to feel that I was still right there. I wanted to tell others that I am not slow. We did that but does that result bring immediately more chances? I don’t know – we have to look into it.”

Esapekka Lappi, Andreas Mikkelsen and Nikolay Gryazin

Lappi happiest he'd been "in years" on WRC2 return

His co-driver of 10 years, Janne Ferm, had not seen Lappi as happy as he was in the Arctic for a very long time

With fellow former WRC full-timer Andreas Mikkelsen starring in this year’s WRC2 series, Lappi was keen to come in and put down a marker of his own.

He added: “If people are thinking Andreas is the only choice [for a WRC manufacturer to sign] then I put my foot between them – I have shown it’s not like that. I still believe I have the speed [to win rallies] and I am confident I could do that at the highest level again.”

Lappi’s Arctic Rally Finland Printsport Racing team-mate Nikolay Gryazin said he would be happy to drive alongside the Finn again following their first and third places in WRC2.

“It’s good to have guys like him in WRC2,” Gryazin told DirtFish. “Sure, it would be nice to drive with him again – we can learn from him.”