M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s young drivers continue to hold position at Neste Rally Finland – the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs of Teemu Suninen and Gus Greensmith finishing the second day of competition in eighth and ninth places respectively.
With the FIA World Rally Championship as close as it is right now, every tenth of a second counts; and with the speeds as high as they are in Finland, anything other than a perfect feeling will see the time slip away.
Despite driving well, both Fiesta drivers have been missing that perfect feeling this weekend. Working through some solutions with their engineers, both crews improved throughout the day and will be looking for more of the same tomorrow.
Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“Everyone knows how strong the competition is, and when you pair that with the speeds here in Finland nothing short of perfection will do. We’ve not had that perfection this weekend. I don’t think we’re far off, but in these conditions it really shows and you have to have the confidence to push as hard as the guys up front.
“The team have been working hard to try and rebuild that confidence. We’ve been looking at a few different solutions today, and it was good to see both drivers show some improvements over the afternoon loop. There’s still a way to go, but we’ll keep at it and hope to see some further gains tomorrow.”
Teemu Suninen (8th) said:
“We went a bit softer with the car this morning to try and find some more traction, but it makes the car quite unpredictable. We went back to the base set-up for the afternoon, and that felt better. Now we need to get the confidence to drive on the limits and get the most out of the car.”
Gus Greensmith (9th) said:
“It’s been pretty tricky for us out there today. We tried some big set-up changes this morning, but it didn’t work out. The car felt much better in the afternoon and I was really enjoying the driving, but we had to clear a line through the ruts left by the national crews. I know tomorrow’s stages pretty well, so I think I’ll give it bit of a push to see how good I am at cleaning the road – but not too much, because I promised Rich that I would bring the car back in one piece!”
1. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2:08:49.4
2. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferme (Citroen C3 WRC) +16.4
3. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +28.8
4. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +50.5
5. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Citroen C3 WRC) +53.1
6. Craig Breen / Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +59.1
7. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1:19.3
8. Teemu Suninen / Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2:05.3
9. Gus Greensmith / Elliott Edmondson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4:09.7