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Highlighting their potential with the fastest time through the first pass of Thursday’s Shakedown, the Finns continued to impress and upheld their strong performance with pace and consistency throughout the weekend in their Ford Fiesta WRC which is fitted with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors.
Locked in an intense battle for second place with reigning World Champion Ott Tänak, Suninen more than held his own and was on course to keep the Estonian at bay before picking up a brake issue through the closing kilometres.
Losing the brakes on the second pass of Derramadero, the young Finn was forced to relinquish the fight but managed the issue through the final spectator stages to secure a thoroughly deserved podium – the third of his career so far.
Gus Greensmith and Elliott Edmondson had also been on course for a strong result – holding sixth place before their Fiesta was brought to a halt two kilometres into the first pass of Alfaro.
Dedicated to learning the mechanics of their top-specification Fiesta, their commitment paid off as they were able to find and solve the issue with spares carried in the car. But the damage had already been done and they dropped more than 10 minute to the leading pack.
Teemu Suninen said: “I’m really happy with what I was able to do here this weekend, and really proud to bring this good result home for the team. After Sweden it wasn’t looking too good and the bosses were asking for some more pace! Then I switched the switch and was able to come back a stronger man – back on the good pace, and back challenging for the top results.”
Gus Greensmith said: “It’s not been the weekend we wanted. Going into the rally we felt really good, but I just haven’t had the feeling and made too many mistakes. I would drive one good kilometre, and then one bad kilometre, and that time just adds up. But things were getting better and I really started to enjoy myself this afternoon. I’ve still got lots to learn, but we’ll get there – we’ve just got to keep at it.”
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “It was great to see Teemu and Jarmo make the podium in Mexico and also a battling performance by Gus which bodes well for future rounds of the WRC.”
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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