The Rally Finland has always had a reputation for speed, and this year’s edition was no exception. And it also proved to be another successful event for the ŠKODA FABIA R5 as ŠKODA Motorsport’s Finnish pairing of Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm secured a sixth successive WRC2 victory for ŠKODA cars.
Forty-one seconds behind them was the Team Oreca’s FABIA R5 of another Finnish duo, Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula. They were involved in a long battle with the other ŠKODA Motorsport’s car of Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson throughout the rally, and going into the final Power Stage they sat just 3.8 seconds ahead.
But with the Swedish duo pushing hard, they rolled their FABIA R5 and were forced to retire, denying ŠKODA a chance to block out all three podium places, but ensuring Suninen finished in the runner-up spot.
The result leaves Teemu Suninen in second place in the WRC2 championship standings, just two points behind leader Elfyn Evans, who finished third in Finland.
There was also a good performance by the Team Ptock’s ŠKODA FABIA R5, driven by Hubert Ptaszek / Maciej Szczepaniak, which came home in seventh place in the WRC2 standings. They made a slow start on the first day, but consistent driving, especially on day two saw them finish strongly, despite an incident on stage 22 which cost them a higher finish.
They chose to officially enter co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak as the driver for this event, so the points earned will not go onto Hubert Ptaszek’s championship total, but they will have learned a great deal from this unique rally.
Just ten seconds further back, in eighth place in the WRC2 standings, were the Australians Scott Pedder / Dale Moscatt. They suffered a spin on the second stage of the rally, which cost them around two and a half minutes. That meant the rest of the rally was spent making up ground, which they did impressive to secure a point-scoring result.
The next round of the WRC2 championship will be the Rallye Deutschland, which will take place from 18th to the 21st August.