The Korean team confirmed the expected contract news.
Vesa Pöppönen / AOP
Esapekka Lappi will drive next season in the World Rally Championship for Hyundai. The Korean team confirmed the expected driver contract on Friday.
Lappi, 31, is switching to Hyundai from Toyota, where he drove seven World Cup rallies this season. Lapland ranked third in Sweden, Finland and Belgium.
Hyundai will be Lapland’s fifth factory team in the World Series. In the lower classes, he competed as a Skoda factory driver before jumping to the WRC-Toyota poles in 2017. In 2019 Lappi switched to Citroen and in 2020 to M-Sport. He returned to Toyota last year.
Lapland has won one World Cup rally in his career. It came in a tasty way on the gravel roads of Central Finland in 2017. Lapland’s long dream of an entire World Cup rally season in the number one car is finally coming true. Thanks in part for that To Ott Tänakwho tore up his Hyundai deal at the end of last season.
– Life is full of surprises! We couldn’t wait for the opportunity to drive Hyundai for the whole calendar year. This is a dream and a unique opportunity. The team has all the conditions to win in every race, Lappi says in the press release.
Along with Lapland, the sheet music reading continues Janne Ferm.
Other Hyundai cars are driven in the garage Thierry Neuville and shared Dani Sordo and Craig Breen, which recently terminated its contract with M-Sport. Breen already drove for Hyundai in the 2019–2021 seasons. CEO of Hyundai Sean Kim says in the team’s press release that he trusts experience.
– Experience has been the biggest priority for our 2023 driver line-up. Thierry, Esapekka, Dani and Craig create a great combination that will lead us towards the new season. We expect that the experience and talent of our group will help us perform at the top, says Kim.