Lappi will be driving a World Rally Car for the first time since last season when he returns to a Toyota Yaris at the Jyväskylä event. Although he won the 2017 rally with the same car, it is inconceivable for Lappi that he can make up for the lack of sitting time at a top level.
After his first test on board a Yaris WRC since moving from Toyota to Citroën in late 2018, Lappi said: “The car feels really good. A lot has changed, but basically it’s the same car that I drove – so I felt comfortable in it.
“The speed is incredible, however. It was so quick. The speed at which you can take corners is amazing and that takes time – to build that confidence. The speed was good from the test track, but that’s not the same as on the first stage. This is the trick to bring the confidence and speed from the test to the stage.
Video: Secto Automotive Rally Finland
“We changed one of the roads in the test and when I went on the new road I hesitated – that tells me that this week it is not possible to win. If you hesitate, you will not win this rally.
“It’s not reasonable to think that I can come back after I’m from the [World Rally] Car for 10 months and fight for victory in a rally like this. “
Lappi’s private RTE motorsport team has rented a Yaris from the Toyota Gazoo Racing factory team. The car is operated by Toyota employees and the 30-year-old Finn, who is slated to return to the roster on a part-time basis next year, immediately felt at home.
“It was really nice to be here again [in the car] and really nice to be back on the team, ”he admitted.
Lappi started the super-fast event in Jyväskylä eight times and underpinned his 2017 victory with second place on board a C3 WRC in 2019.
After Lappi left M-Sport Ford after a single season at the end of last year, he started two WRC2 races in a Volkswagen Polo R5 in the 2021 season – and dominated the category at the Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox and the Vodafone Rally de Portugal .
• Full coverage of the Secto Automotive Rally Finland will be available on WRC + All Live here, including every stage broadcast as well as important interviews, features and expert analyzes from the service park.