Teemu Suninen will take no further part in the Monza Rally after the extent of the engine damage that ruled him out after SS4 was discovered.
Suninen’s pace looked strong through the first split of Friday’s opening stage, but the engine note of his M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC – sounding more akin to a Group A Subaru than a modern-day Rally1 car – indicated that his car had dropped down to three cylinders.
Fifteen-minute flexi-services after each stage presented M-Sport with an opportunity to fix the problems but, despite trying twice, it couldn’t manage it.
Suninen called it a day after SS4 when it was discovered that the engine damage was internal, meaning there was nothing that could be done to rescue his rally.
“On the middle of the stage we lost the power, basically we lost one cylinder,” said Suninen.
“The start of the stage was pretty good until that moment and then we had pretty good hopes that we can fix it, but we couldn’t fix it in three services so in the end we found out there was some damage internal of the engine so nothing that we can fix now.
“It’s over, the whole rally, so we can’t fix it and it’s a big shame to finish the season like this but couldn’t do much more.”
M-Sport’s lead driver Esapekka Lappi lies second overnight, just one second behind rally leader Dani Sordo.