Hyundai Motorsport N’s Teemu Suninen has been disqualified from Secto Rally Finland this past weekend after the front bumper of his i20 N Rally2 was found to be underweight.
The 28-year-old secured his first victory of the season in the WRC’s premier support category but was disqualified by event stewards following a hearing at the rally base in Jyväskylä. The stewards’ decision said that in post-event scrutineering, the weight of the front bumper was measured at 3,931g, which was below the minimum allowed weight of 4,510g required to comply with the car’s homologation.
The front bumpers of two other Hyundai i20 NG Rally2 cars from other competitors in Secto Rally Finland were also checked and were found to weigh 5,090g and 5,000g respectively. These were original Hyundai Motorsport supplied parts. After due deliberation, the stewards concluded that while the competitor stated that this was a human error in fitting the wrong part, it is nevertheless the competitor’s responsibility to make sure that all parts comply with the provisions of the relevant regulations.
Suninen team manager Pablo Marcos and Hyundai Customer Racing manager Andrea Cisotti both agreed the part was underweight. They explained the front bumper was not an original part produced by Hyundai Motorsport but a copy, and that it was used as a replacement for the original bumper during testing. The part was fitted to the car in error by the team Red Grey, which prepares Suninen’s car on behalf of Hyundai Motorsport.
Suninen’s disqualification means Škoda Fabia Rally2 driver Emil Lindholm, who finished 7.7 sec behind in the rally in a Toksport WRT2-entered Škoda Fabia Evo, was instead awarded the win. Egon Kaur in a Volkswagen Polo GTI and Hayden Paddon, in another Hyundai i20 N, also gained a position to complete the new podium.