Lappi: CER crash is one of my biggest disappointments of 2023

Esapekka Lappi says that his crash at Central European Rally is one of his biggest disappointments of the season considering the fact that his gravel crew did a job and his times came naturally with the i20N. 

The Finn driver was in ninth place overall at the end of Thurday as he received a ten-second time penalty for his jump start in Stage 2, but he managed to gain six places in total until the end of Stage 4 and to be behind his teammate Thierry Neuville on the classification. However, Hyundai Motorsport confirmed on Friday night that he would not restart on Saturday under the regulations of Super Rally following his crash in Stage 5. The incident happened when he lost the rear of his car and touched a tree with the rear right of his i20N resulting in spinning and going off the road 1.2 Km into SS5. His car was heavily damaged to the roll cage and the tailgate was missing while this was his second consecutive retirement due to a crash. His next outing with the Hyundai will be at Rally Japan in two weeks, but it is yet to be confirmed if he will continue driving for the Koreans or not in 2024.

"This is one of the biggest disappointments of the season for me", Lappi said. 

"On Friday, I felt very confident – this was the best day on tarmac with this car ever. 

"I had new brakes which gave me a much better feeling, which really helped in these dirty conditions.

"I was doing good times; they were coming naturally to me, I didn’t have to force it. 

"My gravel crew did a great job predicting exactly where we would and wouldn’t find mud, so I was able to really commit in certain places. 

"Unfortunately on SS5, my best guess is we were too close to the edge of the road and the right rear was on some mud, and under braking we lost the rear immediately. 

"With the trees, there was nowhere to run wide, and it was game over".

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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