After Citroen’s International Rally Championship go out left him with no seat, Esapekka Lappi has joined the M-Game Ford International Rally Crew for 2020 along Teemu Suninen and Gus Greensmith.
Finnish drivers Lappi and Suninen will take on all 13 rounds of this 12 months’s WRC, whilst Greensmith will get 9 rounds aboard a Ford Fiesta WRC.
The crew’s first public look in combination comes at subsequent week’s Autosport World, the place the crews will probably be joined through M-Game managing director Malcolm Wilson and crew foremost Richard Millener to put out M-Game’s plans for the season forward.
Lappi gained his first rally identify – the 2012 Finnish Rally Championship – in a Fiesta S2000 constructed through the M-Game squad.
He spearheaded Skoda’s new R5 programme culminating in successful the WRC 2 identify in 2016, earlier than he stepped as much as Toyota the place he gained his house rally – Rally Finland – in 2017.
He moved to Citroen along Sebastien Ogier for 2019 and scored 3 podiums on his approach to 10th within the championship.
Ogier has joined Toyota for 2020, along ex-M-Game driving force Elfyn Evans who Lappi now replaces, securing the ultimate manufacturing facility seat within the WRC.
“I am in reality having a look ahead to this new journey and I am excited to look what we will be able to reach,” mentioned Lappi.
“M-Game Ford has an actual interest for rally and there have been numerous gifted drivers to be had for this seat, so I am more than pleased they put their accept as true with in us – giving myself and Janne a chance to turn what we will be able to do in 2020.
“We commence checking out this week, and I am in reality having a look ahead to finding the Fiesta.
“The ultimate time I drove a Ford we had numerous good fortune and it could be nice to look that proceed this 12 months.
“I will be able to’t wait to get began, and hope we will be able to push for some robust effects.”
The combo of Lappi and Suninen returns M-Game to an all-Finnish frontline.
Wilson mentioned: “We are going again to our roots in additional tactics than one this 12 months – fielding a tender crew and inviting Finns again to the circle of relatives.
“We loved some improbable effects with Marcus [Gronholm], Mikko [Hirvonen] and Jari-Matti [Latvala] and now I am having a look ahead to seeing how the following era of Flying Finns increase.
“However our core philosophy has at all times been the promotion and development of younger skill, and in Esapekka, Teemu and Gus we now have 3 gifted kids who’re all in a position to turning in some robust effects.”
Two-time podium finisher Suninen will get started his 2nd complete season in a manufacturing facility Fiesta.
“It is in reality nice to be in a crew with Esapekka as a result of he was once one thing of a hero to me in my formative years,” mentioned Suninen.
“Once I began go-karting as a teen in Finland, he was once in the similar crew and successful the championship. 3 years later I used to be ready to do the similar, and now we are each in rally and each again in the similar crew!”
Greensmith, will get started his programme with Monte Carlo later this month, earlier than tackling Mexico, Argentina, Portugal, Sardinia, Finland, Turkey, Germany and Wales.
He mentioned: “I owe so much to everybody at M-Game and Ford who has helped me development as a driving force, however there’s much more to come back.”
Get limitless get right of entry to to the sector’s highest motorsport journalism with Autosport Plus