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M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Teemu Suninen and Jarmo Lehtinen narrowly missed the podium at this weekend’s Rally Turkey taking their NGK-equipped EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC to fourth place.
They had brought the podium to within less than 10 seconds and had every intention of mounting a challenge through the closing kilometres but after losing some of the aerodynamics from the rear of the Fiesta, which is fitted with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors, could no longer push the limits and opted to safeguard another strong result.
Taking a solid haul of points for another fourth place finish, young Finn Suninen now finds himself in the middle of an intense seven-way battle for fourth place in the championship – and has every chance of challenging over the season’s remaining three events.
He said: “This has been a good weekend for us. I think we had the right balance between showing good pace and driving well through the stages without any mistakes or problems. And I think we made a really big step forward from where we were last year – with the pace but also with managing the tyres so that was really good to see. A big thanks to the mechanics also because they had a lot of work to do on the car this weekend.”
Making his gravel debut with the top-specification Fiesta this weekend, teammate Pontus Tidemand gained a wealth of knowledge in finishing in ninth position ahead of his next outing at Wales Rally GB in three weeks’ time.
The Swede said: “This was my first gravel rally with the Fiesta WRC, and actually my first proper gravel rally this year, so I would say that it has been a good weekend for us. The car and the team were working really well and I would say like to say a big thanks to them and to everyone who has supported me so far this year.”
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “There were fine performances by both drivers with Teemu deserving a place on the podium and Pontus showing real promise. It was fantastic to see the M-Sport team so competitive as we build up to the iconic Wales Rally GB.”
For more details about NGK and its products and services please visit www.ngkntk.com
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 and Aftermarket customers across the globe. Its product portfolio for the Aftermarket comprises spark plugs, glow plugs, ignition coils and leads under the NGK Ignition Parts brand, whilst oxygen and temperature sensors, NOx sensors, mass air flow (MAF) and manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensors operate under the brand NTK Vehicle Electronics. With more than 14,500 employees, the company’s automotive and technical ceramics activities generate a total annual turnover of around 3.1 billion Euros worldwide. NGK Spark Plug is represented on all continents and has 41 group companies, 24 production plants and five 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 – which currently represents 32% of NGK´s global turnover – the company has ten group companies and more than 800 employees, as well as two production plants in France and South Africa and a technical centre in Germany.
For more information please visit: www.ngk-europe.com
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