Team ORECA have confirmed their rally programme for the 2016 season that will see Teemu Suninen remain at the team with co-driver Mikko Markkula alongside in the WRC2 class.
Last season saw some great performances from both Suninen and Eric Camilli, who has now moved on to the top WRC class with the M-Sport team.
The new season brings a new challenge for the Finnish driver, who is part of the the TMG Junior Driver Development Program, as he takes on the teams’ brand new Skoda Fabia R5.
A full season is planned for the 21-year-old which will see him take part in at least seven rounds, starting in a couple of weeks time at Rallye Monte-Carlo.
“With a driver like Teemu and a car like the Fabia R5, our new 2016 programme is obviously ambitious” said Hugues de Chaunac, ORECA Group CEO.
“We’ve got an excellent package there and the experience that both Teemu and the team have garnered throughout this recent season should enable us to compete amongst the leaders next year. However our objective must remain clear: Teemu is a young driver, there’s still a lot of room for him and the team to improve, and we’re only going to discover the Fabia R5.
“We know Skoda Motorsport well and this car seems fantastic but we’re going to have to get familiar with it. In this context, we’re working towards the Rally Monte-Carlo with great humility as we know how difficult it is. The Rally Sweden will also stand as a great challenge. Results matter, but the way you achieve them is actually as important. Anyway there’s an interesting season ahead of us and we’re looking forward to beginning with Teemu. We’re delighted to continue this adventure with him and Mikko.”
“Last year I learned a lot about World Championship rallies and switching to WRC 2 was a good thing.” added Suninen. “The season ended with a successful rally from which I’ve gained a lot of confidence
“This year will offer a lot of new rallies for me on board a 4-wheel drive, so there’s much to learn but the goal is to reach the Top 3. I believe the Skoda Fabia R5 is competitive. I’ve driven a few rallies with a Skoda before and I liked it.
“I trust the Team ORECA 100%, we now all know each other better than we did last year so everything is more fluid; our work together can only be even more efficient. Monte-Carlo is a very challenging rally because of the weather conditions, pure tarmac mixed with snow and ice. It’s going to be a first for me so I will be careful in the preparation and I’ll do my best there. The goal is to drive smart with a good result.”
With Rallye Monte-Carlo just weeks away, Suninen and the team will be getting their first taste of the Michelin-shod car this week.