Suninen to drive third i20 Rally1, Lindholm joins Hyundai

Suninen to drive third i20 Rally1, Lindholm joins Hyundai

Hyundai Motorsport has relaunched the Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Programme (HMDP) with immediate effect. Teemu Suninen and Emil Lindholm have been selected to be part of the programme.

Teemu Suninen replaces the late Craig Breen in the third Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid for Rally Estonia and Rally Finland. Dani Sordo’s part programme remains unaffected following Suninen’s step-up to the Rally1 car. Suninen’s WRC programme after Rally Estonia and Rally Finland ”will be communicated in due course.”

Alongside competing the two rallies in the Rally1 car, Suninen will also undertake development tests with both the i20 N Rally1 and i20 N Rally2, as well as participate in pre-event roll outs.

“This is a great opportunity to get back to top tier cars and I have been really missing it.

“Estonia and Finland have previously been strong rallies for me, but it will be a big challenge to learn the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 hybrid and the hybrid system with limited testing. Both rallies are known as sprint rallies where you need 110% confidence and to push flat out from the first corner to get good results, so that will ask for a lot of patience from me and only time will show our approach.

“My goal is to learn the car step by step and to gradually show more pace and bring good points for the team,” Suninen said.

Lindholm joins HMDP from Toksport-Skoda

Reigning WRC2 champion Emil Lindholm joins the HMDP from Toksport-Skoda. The Finn is set to make his debut with the i20 N Rally2 at Rally Estonia. Lindholm’s programme after Rally Estonia is yet to be announced.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to become part of one of the most
accomplished and successful rally teams globally.

“My decision to join Hyundai Motorsport stems primarily from the brand’s proven track record of success in rallying and especially their commitment to nurture young talent.

Their clear dedication to rallying aligns perfectly with my own passion and ambition. I see Rally Estonia as the perfect starting point for my journey with the team; it’s been a strong event for both myself and the team in the past which brings me a good deal of confidence. I firmly believe that we have every opportunity to step on the podium multiple times this season,” Lindholm said.

Photo: Hyundai Motorsport