M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s newcomer Esapekka Lappi had the best performance for the team at Rally Sweden last weekend when he finished the season’s second competition in fifth place.
Over the weekend Lappi got up to speed in his Ford Fiesta WRC with a perfect set up of the car, getting better and better at every stage he drove. At Sunday’s only stage he had only a few tenths of a seconds to spare when he finished the rally and managed to keep his place from Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville.
“I need to be pleased with our performance this weekend. We’re not exactly where I wanted to be as I wanted to fight for the podium, but we’re not far away. We’re missing that last little bit, but it’s getting closer.” Lappi said.
“We’ve made a good step forward – especially yesterday when the pace was really good – and that gives us some confidence going forward to Mexico. Everything is going well at the moment, so let’s see what we can do next.”
Hoping for a better weekend after terrible start on the season-opener, Teemu Suninen brought his Fiesta WRC home in eighth place. The young Finn led this event last year, but during shakedown he had a dent in his confidence as he went off the road due to the rear of his car losing grip.
“This hasn’t been a good rally for us. It all started with a big moment on Shakedown and then on Friday I was just taking it a bit too carefully in places. Suninen said.
“We lost a few seconds there and just couldn’t get the time back. Then on Saturday we had to open the road and that made it even more difficult. Now we just need to analyse this rally and look forward to being better on the next one.”
“I think fifth place is a good result for us this weekend, and it was great to see Esapekka getting stronger and stronger as the event wore on.” Richard Millener, Team Principal, said.
“The more time he gets behind the wheel, the more confident he gets and that bodes very well for the future. He came out on top in the battle with Thierry today, and I think we’re all looking forward to seeing what he can do next time out in Mexico.“
“Similarly, I think we’re all hoping Mexico will be the event that turns Teemu’s season around. He’s not had the best start, but we all know what he’s capable of and look forward to seeing him back on form.”