WRC.  An unexpected transfer to Hyundai

WRC. An unexpected transfer to Hyundai

Sources Motorsport.com and Autosport.com show that Esapekka Lappi he will leave the Toyota ranks and join the regular Hyundai squad from next season.

After the end of cooperation with M-Sport in 2020, this season Finn returned to compete in the world championship in the top class. As part of the divisional program, he switched to the GR Yaris Rally1 with Sebastien Ogier. The 31-year-old has made three podiums in the seven events he has competed in during the 2022 campaign.

It was expected that the Finn would follow a similar plan next year, driving in the colors of the Japanese brand. It has been confirmed that talks in this context have started after the Acropolis Rally in September.

Head of TGR WRT – Jari-Matti Latvala he did not hide that he intended to keep the current structure of the stables.

However, the news that 2019 world champion Ott Tanak took advantage of the clause and terminated his contract with Hyundai a year early caused a lot of movement in the WRC driver market.

Accordingly, Lappi had to accept an offer from the Korean manufacturer to take over the Hyundai i20 Rally1 for Estonia. The terms of the contract have reportedly already been agreed. Therefore, his departure from Toyota meant that Ogier was left without an alternative in the third Yaris.

Previously, it was indicated that the favorite to replace Tanaka was Andreas Mikkelsenbut it looks like he is no longer a candidate for full-time Hyundai driver alongside Thierry Neuville.

In the context of the cast of the third i20 N Rally1, Dani Sordo is scheduled to participate in as many as eight meetings. This year, in a similar program, he collaborated with the Spaniard Oliver Solbergbut HMSG soon thanked him for his cooperation.

He strengthened his chances of promotion with this role Teemu Suninenwho recently tested the Hyundai Rally1 at the team’s development center in Finland. This year, he represents this team in WRC 2, and recently he has not hidden his desire to return to top-class racing.

Contract with M-Sport Craig Breen he also tested during the break for Hyundai, which he drove in selected meetings in 2019-2021. They were also on the short list of candidates Chris Meeke and Hayden Paddon.

Read also:

Video: Japan Rally Championship Announcement