Suninen’s bid for Arctic redemption after Monte crash

M-Sport Ford driver adamant his huge shunt on WRC 2021's opening stage is already "forgotten"


M-Sport Ford driver Teemu Suninen says he has forgotten last month’s Monte Carlo Rally crash and is ready to attack the Arctic Rally Finland stages next week.

The 27-year-old tests the Ford Fiesta WRC in Lapland on Saturday, a day he knows will be pivotal to his progress on the second round of the championship.

“It’s a really important day,” he said. “I have to find the feeling with the new tire. I have some questions which will be good to answer at the test.

“I see this as a big chance to show what we can do and how we can perform. Of course, it will be a big challenge when our competitors have been doing some updates and making some extra rallies, but we will have our test and, like I say, I think we have a good chance now.

“It’s really nice to be competing at home and in the north of Finland – I love to drive on snow and these conditions will be really nice. Maybe we can have some advantage from the road position, but if it’s minus 20 or something like this, something really cold, then it can also be tricky with the snow dust.

“I want to go to this rally and do everything I can. I forgot Monte. It was unlucky accident. I can tell you, if I start this stage again, then I start it the same way, I wasn’t pushing over the limit or anything like that. It was unlucky. I start Arctic and I will give everything for this car and this team.”

And the Finn has the full backing of M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson to show the Ford Fiesta WRC’s speed.

Following the Monte shunt, Wilson told DirtFish last month: “He got the line wrong for one corner and paid a very, very heavy price for that. Before that, he was nowhere near the edge. I don’t care about the fact he crashed; I’m pleased he showed the speed we have in the car.”

Suninen does have experience of the Lapland stages too, having driven a Fiesta R2 on the regional Arctic Rally seven years ago.