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    Lappi favorite to land 2023 Hyundai WRC drive

    Sources have indicated to Autosport’s sister publication Italy that the Finn will depart Toyota to affix the Alzenau-based operation for subsequent season.

    After shedding a drive at M-Sport in 2020, Lappi returned to the WRC’s prime tier this season when he secured a partial season sharing Toyota’s third GR Yaris with nine-time world champion Sebastien Ogier. The 31-year-old impressed many by scoring three podiums from his seven occasions.

    Lappi appeared more likely to proceed in his part-time function with the Japanese model into subsequent yr, after confirming negotiations have been underway following his final outing of the season at Acropolis Rally Greece in September.

    Toyota boss Jari-Matti Latvala had additionally gone on the file as just lately as final month’s Rally Spain that he supposed to retain the crew’s driver line-up for 2023.

    Nonetheless, affirmation that 2019 world champion Tanak exercised a clause to finish his contract with Hyundai a yr early has triggered important motion within the WRC driver market.

    Perception: What Tanak’s Hyundai departure means for the WRC driver market

    Days after the announcement, stories emerged in Finland that Lappi had been supplied a deal to affix the South Korean marque to fill certainly one of its two vacant seats for 2023. Lappi’s now anticipated departure from Toyota will depart a seat free within the third GR Yaris alongside Sebastien Ogier.

    Previous to Tanak’s announcement, reigning WRC2 champion Andreas Mikkelsen had emerged because the favorite to interchange the Estonian ought to the 2019 world champion elect to go away the crew. Nonetheless, it appears Mikkelsen is now not in line to safe a full-time seat at Hyundai.

    Ott Tanak, Martin Jarveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

    Ott Tanak, Martin Jarveoja, Hyundai World Rally Crew Hyundai i20 N Rally1

    Picture by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

    As for the shared drive at Hyundai, Dani Sordo has been linked with contesting as many as eight rallies subsequent yr, whereas plenty of names are on Hyundai’s shortlist to accomplice the Spaniard and take up the function beforehand held by Oliver Solberg.

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    Teemu Suninen strengthened his case for a promotion to the function after he examined Hyundai’s Rally1 i20 N for the primary time this week on the crew’s Finland testing base. The Finn is already contracted to drive one of many crew’s Rally2 vehicles this season and is eager to graduate again to the WRC subsequent yr.

    “I’ve to say it was nice to be again in a Rally1 or, you recognize, the very best stage automotive in WRC,” Suninen advised Autosport.

    “It was very nice to really feel the facility and the aerodynamics and likewise the hybrid energy.

    “It truly stunned me by how simple it was to know and the way computerized every thing was. It was truly fairly simple to drive and get used to it.

    “For positive, the objective is to get a full-season in Rally1 I’d say. I’d nonetheless be comfortable if I may get just a few rallies and I’m positive I generally is a good help for the crew and provides my expertise from the quick rallies that I do know very nicely.

    “If I can not discover a seat, then I want I’ll have a superb Rally2 mission creating the vehicles and a superb programme round it.”

    Teemu Suninen, Mikko Markkula, Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai i20 N Rally2

    Teemu Suninen, Mikko Markkula, Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai i20 N Rally2

    Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Pictures

    Requested when he would know his future plans, he replied: “I feel we now have to attend a bit for the highest guys to finalise what they will do after which I’ll see what accessible seats are left.”

    Whereas contracted to M-Sport for subsequent season, Craig Breen has additionally been linked with a transfer again to a part-time function at Hyundai. The Irishman contested chosen rallies for the squad from 2019-2021, and scored 4 podium finishes.

    Hyundai additionally confirmed previous to Rally Spain that former manufacturing facility Citroen and Toyota driver Kris Meeke was on its shortlist of candidates.

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