Hyundai Motorsport has added another WRC2 podium finish with its Hyundai i20 N Rally2 car

Hyundai Motorsport has added another WRC2 podium finish with its Hyundai i20 N Rally2 car

17.10.2021: ...with a fine run to second place for Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula • In their first WRC2 event in the car, the Finns claimed three stage wins, as well as second place in the Power Stage, to finish just 20.2-seconds from the class winner


...with a fine run to second place for Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula


•    In their first WRC2 event in the car, the Finns claimed three stage wins, as well as second place in the Power Stage, to finish just 20.2-seconds from the class winner


•    In a contrast of fortunes, fellow Finns Jari Huttunen and Mikko Lukka were forced to retire from the rally after Saturday’s SS9 stage, El Montmell.
 



Hyundai Motorsport has secured a podium finish in the WRC2 class of Rally de España with Finnish crew Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula taking second place on their debut in the Hyundai i20 N Rally2.
 


The Finns claimed three stage wins over the course of the weekend, as they adapted quickly to the car on the Spanish tarmac roads, completing their first rally with the team 20.2-seconds from the eventual winners.
 


Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver Jari Huttunen and his co-driver Mikko Lukka fared less well after being beset by technical issues that ultimately forced them to retire from the event on Saturday afternoon.
 


Friday’s itinerary saw crews tackle six stages over 112 competitive kilometres, a repeat loop of Vilaplana (SS1/SS4, 20km), La Granadella (SS2/SS5, 21.80km) and Riba-roja (SS3/SS6, 14.21km). While Suninen got up to speed and acclimatised to his new rally car, there were early signs of trouble for Huttunen on the opening loop. Suninen scored a handful of second-fastest times to end Friday in second place in WRC2, with Huttunen in fourth.
 


Saturday’s seven stages got underway with a loop of Savallà (SS7/SS10, 14.08km), Querol-Les Pobles (SS8/SS11, 19.17km) and El Montmell (SS9/SS12, 24.40km). Suninen scored his first stage win in the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 with a strong run through the longest stage of the weekend, a feat that he would go onto repeat in the second loop.
 


Huttunen’s weekend was over before lunchtime service, as the Finn was forced to retire on the road section after SS9 due to damaged oil cooler. It was an unfortunate end to the weekend for the crew who had expected much more after taking WRC2 victory in Ypres Rally Belgium back in August.
 


Meanwhile, Suninen’s double stage win on Saturday allowed him to finish the penultimate day in second in WRC2, 27.1-seconds from the category leader.


Sunday’s final four stages – two runs through Santa Marina (SS14/SS16, 9.10km) and Riudecanyes (SS15/SS17, 16.35km) – had added drama with wet weather at the rally’s conclusion. Suninen took a third stage win in SS16 and then scored second place in the Power Stage to reduce his deficit to the top spot to just 20.2 seconds.





 
Crew Notes: Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula (#24 Hyundai i20 N Rally2)


•    Three WRC2 stage wins for the Finnish crew on their Hyundai i20 N Rally2 debut

•    Strong Sunday saw them finish second in the Power Stage
 


Suninen said:
“This weekend has been all about getting familiar with the car. It’s a new project for us with Hyundai Motorsport and driving the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 car, so we set ourselves a clear learning goal.



Overall, it was a good rally for us. We found good pace in the fast sections and overcame some understeering issues in the slower parts; we made positive steps forward and we’ve come away with a second place, and a podium on our debut. We have collected a lot of knowledge and feedback for the engineers, and I’ve really enjoyed showing our pace and the potential of this car.”
 




Crew Notes: Jari Huttunen / Mikko Lukka (#23 Hyundai i20 N Rally2)

•    Difficult weekend for the Finns ended on Saturday with a damaged oil cooler

•    Crew had struggled to find pace on the Spanish tarmac roads
 


Huttunen said:
“Unfortunately, this has been a weekend to forget for us. We were never able to demonstrate the speed of the car or to be in the mix for good results. We tried to push whenever we could, as well as making some set-up changes to try and learn more about the car, but we couldn’t do much more.



At the end of Saturday morning’s run through El Montmell, we had to retire on the road section and there was no chance to continue. Not the result we wanted, but we’ll bounce back.”
 



Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Andrea Adamo said:
“I think it’s been a good result. Teemu has been with us for the first time in a competitive event, with very limited time in the car in testing, and his support during the rally has been amazing.



 We have to extend our sincerest thanks to him because it’s a strong second position in WRC2 and another demonstration of the performance of our new car.”
 




Final Overall Classification WRC2 – Rally de España

 
1    E. Camilli    M. Vilmot    Citroën C3 Rally2    2:44:01.2
2    T. Suninen    M. Markkula    Hyundai i20 N Rally2    +20.2
3    E. Cais    J. Zakova    Ford Fiesta R5 MkII    +56.1
4    M. Østberg    T. Eriksen    Citroën C3 Rally2    +1:51.8
5    S. Johnston    A. Kihurani    Citroën C3 Rally2    +5:30.8
6    G. Linnemäe    J. Morgan    Volkswagen Polo GTI    +6:39.1
 



2021 WRC2 Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 11

 
1    A. Mikkelsen    126
2    M. Østberg    126
3    M. Bulacia    104
4    T. Suninen    93
5    J. Huttunen    78
6    N. Gryazin    77
7    E. Lappi    59
8    M. Prokop    51
9    E. Camilli    51
10    A. Fourmaux    48
 



2021 FIA WRC2 Championship for Teams’ Standings
After round 11

 
1    Toksport WRT    211
2    Movisport    202
3    M-Sport Ford World Rally Team    146
4    Hyundai Motorsport N    73
5    Sainteloc Junior Team    27
 

 

 


Thomas Villette,    Nicoletta Russo- photos Hyundai

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/hyundai-motorsport-wrc2-podium-finish-suninen---230021.html

17.10.2021 / MaP

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