Lappi sees podium finish in Finland

Thursday | July 28, 2022

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Esapekka Lappi is targeting a return to the podium at Secto Rally Finland next week (4-7 August) – his first time since 2019 that he has competed at home in a works car.

Of course, Lappi is no stranger to the top three places at Jyväskylä: he won his first and only WRC race at the event with Toyota in 2017 and finished second in a Citroën two years later.

Last season he returned to the top flight of the sport after almost a year without a World Rally Car, driving a privately entered car to fourth overall. Of course, the Finn is looking forward to being back on home soil.

“It’s always nice to come home and compete on your own roads,” said Lappi, who alternates with eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier in the GR Yaris Rally1 this season.


Lappi drove a private Yaris in 2021


“The roads in Estonia are pretty similar,” Lappi said, “so bringing some seat time and some experience of the new car on the fast roads helps.”

As the last Finn to win the classic event, Lappi accepts that there will be extra pressure on his shoulders next week. But he is also aware of his championship-leading compatriot and team-mate Kalle Rovanperä, who is in good form at the moment.

Rovanperä has won five of the last six rallies and leads the championship with 83 points. However, he has never won in Finland and fell out of the event last year.

“Kalle [Rovanperä] will be quick,” admitted Lappi. “Maybe he’s unbeatable at the moment but I think we can be closer to him than last time in Estonia and for me the goal for Finland has to be at least a podium.”


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