Teemu Suninen will be partnered by experienced co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen for the remainder of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship.
Beginning with Rally Italia Sardegna next weekend, Suninen will have the former long-standing co-driver of Mikko Hirvonen alongside him in a bid to aid the young Finn’s development for the remaining six rounds of the championship.
Having begun 2019 with Marko Salminen calling the notes, Suninen will be hoping to push on as he aims to continue his current run of strong results after a tough start to the year in the M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC.
Commenting on the change, Suninen said: “I’ll have a new co-driver next week as Jarmo Lehtinen joins me for the rest of the season. I want to thank Marko [Salminen] because we achieved a lot together over the first half of the year.”
“We won stages and led our very first rally. But I am still learning, and having the experience of someone like Jarmo will be really important if I am to achieve my goals over the second half of the season.”
He continued: “We’ll need to be really focused, not only because this is a new partnership but also because this is a really tough rally. The stages can be quite rough so we’ll have to be careful to mark every stone on the recce. And it’s also a really hot rally so we’ll need to make sure we’re drinking enough and eating properly to keep our energy levels high.”
“Rally Sardinia is quite familiar to me. This will be my fourth time there and I hope that helps as I get up to speed with Jarmo. With only a week since the previous event we haven’t had long to prepare, but if everything goes to plan I’m confident I can show the same pace I had in Portugal.”
Next weekend will be Suninen’s fourth entry on the Italian event having previously won both the WRC3 class in 2015 and then the WRC2 category a year later, before finishing tenth overall in his only appearance in a current-generation WRC car last season.