The NGK-sponsored M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Teemu Suninen and Jarmo Lehtinen may not have been in the fight for the top results at this weekend’s Neste Rally Finland but persevered to secure eighth place.
Young Finnish driver Suninen gradually improved his pace at the fastest round in the FIA World Rally Championship in his EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC – which is fitted with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors – and made it through all of the stages to safeguard unbroken record of consecutive points finishes.
Briton Gus Greensmith, who replaced team mate Elfyn Evans who was forced to miss the rally on medical grounds, was on course to secure a top-ten finish before some confusion over a pace note brought his rally to an untimely end.
Team Principal Richard Millener said: “This hasn’t been our event, but we’ll come back stronger in Germany. I don’t think we’re far off the pace, but this is a rally where you need total confidence to push the limits and Teemu just hasn’t had that this weekend. It’s hard for him not to be challenging for the top results at his home rally, but we know what he’s capable of – he has the speed and we’ll come back fighting.”
Teemu Suninen said: “It’s always fun driving in Finland, but it’s been frustrating to look at the times this weekend. We know that we have the pace, but this wasn’t our weekend. We weren’t able to challenge for the top positions, and have some homework to do before the next one.”
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “The M-Sport team battled hard throughout the rally and their determination paid off to enable them to continue their record of scoring points in every round of this year’s championship.”NGK’s Suninen secures points in FinlandNGK’s Suninen secures points in Finland