Esapekka Lappi will continue with the team in a part-time capacity for the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship season as it seeks to secure its third FIA WRC manufacturers’ crown.
In just a short time with the team, Lappi has impressed with his ability to get up to speed quickly and challenge for podium places in the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid. The Finn was on the pace from the very first kilometre of Rally México, announcing himself as a genuine victory contender. Lappi and Ferm finished runners-up at Rally Italia Sardegna as part of a fantastic 1-2 finish for Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team, and claimed a further hat-trick of third-place finishes in Croatia, Portugal and Estonia. The Finn has also been crucial in the development of the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid throughout 2023, which will continue to be a key element of his role within the team next season.
The team is continuing its discussions with its current WRC and WRC2 drivers and is yet to make a final decision on its full 2024 line-up. Dani Sordo is likely to stay while talks about a fourth car for a development team are still to be confirmed.
Hyundai Motorsport President Sean Kim said: “When we first signed Esapekka for the 2023 season, our target was to have a strong and experienced combination of drivers to help us achieve our goals. He has demonstrated strong potential this season but there is definitely unfinished business, so we are delighted he will remain with us with the inner drive to put that right. All three of our confirmed crews are incredibly talented and know what it takes to win in WRC, underscoring the strength of our intentions.”
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “We are pleased to announce the next piece of the 2024 puzzle with Esapekka and Janne remaining with our team for the season ahead. Their role will be to support Thierry and Ott in the championship, as well as to focus on developing the car – something Esapekka has demonstrated he is particularly good at this year. We believe this is a formidable force that can help us achieve our goals and bring home more wins. We are still finalising the full picture for the season ahead, and will announce our plans in due course, but for now we are delighted to have such a strong line-up at the helm of our WRC challengers.”
Esapekka Lappi said: “I am very happy and grateful to continue my partnership with Hyundai Motorsport into the 2024 WRC season. I feel very comfortable in the team; we have built a fantastic connection over this past year and we have demonstrated we have the package to be successful. I still have the will to develop and succeed in rallying moving forward, and I would like to win with this team. Next year will certainly be different and interesting in many ways, which will motivate me to be a team player, as well as seek personal success, in a bid for a stronger season in 2024.”