Esapekka Lappi To Drive For Hyundai In 2024
The Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team has confirmed Esapekka Lappi will once again drive for the team in 2024.
Moving To Part-Time
Due to Ott Tänak returning to Hyundai in a full-time role next season, Lappi will move into a part-time role. This isn’t anything new for the Finnish driver. As Lappi has previously driven part-time with Toyota. As Lappi spent the 2022 season driving part-time for the Japanese manufacturer. Since his debut in 2017 Lappi has only won a single rally. That rally was the 2017 running of Secto Rally Finland.
Why This Is The Correct Move
Esapekka Lappi has been one of the more consistent drivers all season. Finishing top five at 5 of the 12 events so far this season. However it hasn’t all been pretty for Lappi. As a crash in Mexico took him out of the rally lead. More recently Lappi has crashed out of both Rally Chile BioBio and the Central European Rally on the opening day. Moving back to part-time is probably best for Lappi. As the 32 year old seems to yield better results as a part-time driver. Lappi will give Hyundai a safety net at the events he competes at, and will likely finish close to the podium in all the events he finishes.
Who Will Join Lappi?
The question of who will also drive part-time with Esapekka Lappi is still unanswered. The two likely candidates are Dani Sordo and Teemu Suninen. However, it’s a pretty safe guess to assume Suninen will drive for the team in some capacity next season. Although that may not be in the third car. Instead, Suninen may drive in the fourth i20 at select events. However, that is unlikely as Hyundai wants to use that car for developing new drivers. How Hyundai views Suninen next season will have an effect on what car he drives. A lot of who will join Lappi as a part-time driver will also be up to Dani Sordo. As if Sordo wants a seat with Hyundai next season he will get a seat. However, it seemed heading into Forum8 Rally Japan it was going to be Suninen and Sordo or Lappi as part-time drivers for the team.