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M-Sport Ford driver, Teemu Suninen, will join forces with a new co-driver this week as Jarmo Lehtinen makes a welcome return to competition. Returning to the notes, Lehtinen’s vast experience will aid the young Finn in his development over the second half of the season. He was the long-time co-driver of Mikko Hirvonen. Having contested Rally Italia Sardegna on three previous occasions, Suninen has good knowledge of the event and is a two-time class winner on the island – claiming victory in the WRC 3 category in 2015, and WRC 2 in 2016. “I want to thank Marko [Salminen] because we achieved a lot together over the first half of the year," Suninen said.

Jarmo Lehtinen

"We won stages and led our very first rally. But I am still learning, and having the experience of someone like Jarmo will be really important if I am to achieve my goals over the second half of the season. “Rally Sardinia is quite familiar to me. This will be my fourth time there and I hope that helps as I get up to speed with Jarmo. "With only a week since the previous event we haven’t had long to prepare, but if everything goes to plan I’m confident I can show the same pace I had in Portugal. “We’ll need to be really focused, not only because this is a new partnership, but also because this is a really tough rally. The stages can be quite rough so we’ll have to be careful to mark every stone on the recce. "And it’s also a really hot rally so we’ll need to make sure we’re drinking enough and eating properly to keep our energy levels high.” Rally Sardinia begins on Friday.

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