Suninen won’t change his approach despite Portugal shunt

With one of his five events wasted, Hyundai WRC2 driver knows he needs a better result on Sardinia

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Teemu Suninen has a very limited program planned for 2024. He selected just five rallies on which to make his mark on the WRC2 title race and impress the Rally1 teams. After crashing out of Rally Portugal, he has only four.

But the Hyundai driver was matter-of-fact about the impact it would have on the rest of his campaign.

“I don’t think it will change anything yet,” he told DirtFish. “We had five rounds; now we have four to go, so we need to try to do a good job on those.”

Portugal was of course full of drama in the World Rally Championship’s support category. The list of WRC2 drivers that crashed out of the event was long and illustrious. Oliver Solberg, Gus Greensmith, Pierre-Louis Loubet, Sami Pajari and Pepe López were among those to suffer a similar fate to Suninen.

Suninen had just set the joint-third fastest time on SS4, and was running sixth overall in WRC2, when it all went wrong for him on the first run through Arganil.

“On the jump landing I lost the line, quite surprisingly,” he admitted. “Just on the next 50-60 meters I couldn’t get the car back to the road and we went off.”

Like Loubet, Suninen was making his first WRC2 appearance of 2024 and, following a disastrous start to his campaign, he must refocus and go again in Sardinia this week.

So, does the Portugal setback mean Suninen will go to Sardinia with a different approach?

“Not really, no,” he said. “Of course, I need to try to bring the car home and avoid the mistakes, but still we have to go there with a positive mind and try to get good results.”