Recent M-Sport Ford departee Teemu Suninen has secured a new World Rally Championship drive in the Rally2 class for Rally Finland.
Suninen was part of M-Sport’s top-class line-up from midway through 2017, but for this year was dropped into a split program that included sharing a Ford Fiesta Rally2.
Having scored only once from three opportunities, and been told he would not have a seat for 2022, Suninen left the team with immediate effect, meaning he was out of a seat for the rest of the season.
But Esapekka Lappi’s surprise top-class return with Toyota for Rally Finland has provided an opportunity for Suninen to return, as predicted by DirtFish, as it left a vacancy in the Movisport-run Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 that Lappi was likely to drive on his home event.
“We will compete at the 2021 Rally Finland 2021,” announced Suninen on social media.
“We’ll drive with the VW Polo GTI in the WRC2. It always feels special to drive at my home rally. Can’t wait to get behind the wheel especially when it’s the 70th edition of the rally.
“Quick Finnish gravel roads here we come again!”
It will be the first time Suninen has entered a rally in a Volkswagen, with his last appearance in a car not built by M-Sport being in 2016 when Oreca ran him in Škoda Fabia R5 in WRC2.
For now his WRC2 return will be a one-off, although he remains in title contention and could leap past Lappi in the standings with a class victory on home soil.
He won the WRC3 classification at Rally Finland in 2014, made the WRC2 podium in 2016, and finished fourth there a year later in just his second start in a World Rally Car.