Just as Teemu Suninen did last time out at Rally Italia Sardegna, Lappi proved that the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs, which are fitted with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors, still has the pace to fight for the top results – leading the rally through the early stages and challenging for the win on the final, action-packed event of the year.
The Finn was battling at the sharp end before luck played its hand and a series of small mistakes saw him fall from the fight at the front.
Unable to make the most of his superior tyre choice through the snow-covered mountain stages, and taking the wrong compound for Sunday morning’s opener, the podium positions slipped out of his grasp; but the Finn should remain proud of his performance this weekend.
Esapekka Lappi said: “This was a good weekend for us and we can be pleased with our performance. It was good to be back on Tarmac, and good to see that we can be competitive in these tricky conditions.
"Things didn’t always go our way and we were quite unlucky at times, but I was very happy with my driving and we proved that we can be up there fighting at the top.
“A big thanks to everyone who has supported us throughout the year, and to the FIA, WRC Promotor and event organisers for ensuring we could finish the season and continue rallying in these difficult times.”
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “It was a great way for the team to finish the season and bodes well for another successful WRC campaign next year.”
Notes to Editors
About NGK SPARK PLUG:
Worldwide: NGK SPARK PLUG is one of the leading automotive and technical ceramics suppliers, with its corporate headquarters in Nagoya, Japan and sales organisations and production facilities all over the world. The automotive side of the company specialises in the fields of ignition and sensor technology, supplying Original Equipment customers across the globe. For the Aftermarket, its product portfolio comprises spark plugs, glow plugs, ignition coils and leads under the NGK Ignition Parts brand. Under the brand NTK Vehicle Electronics the company offers oxygen sensors (including NOx sensors), exhaust gas temperature sensors (EGTS), mass air flow (MAF) and manifold absolute/boost pressure (MAP) sensors as well as engine speed and position sensors. With around 16,000 employees, the company’s automotive and technical ceramics activities generate a total annual turnover of around 3.5 billion Euros worldwide. NGK SPARK PLUG’s EMEA sales (including its EU, UK, France and Eurasia subsidiaries) represent 26.1% of this global turnover. NGK SPARK PLUG operates on all continents and has 41 group companies, 24 production plants and four Technical Centres.
Aftermarket EMEA: NGK SPARK PLUG has seen significant growth across the Aftermarket since expanding beyond motorcycle parts into the automotive sector in the 1970s. With an outstanding commitment to quality, technology and research & development the company has become the world’s number one in spark plugs and oxygen sensors, and a leading provider of glow plugs, ignition coils and leads as well as further sensor technology. Organisationally NGK SPARK PLUG’s regional headquarters in Ratingen, Germany serves the Aftermarket across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In the EMEA region the company has ten group companies and more than 1,000 employees, as well as two production plants in France and South Africa and a Technical Centre in Germany.
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