Lappi recalls ERC benefits as he gets ready for world return
Former ERC title winner Esapekka Lappi will return to the sport’s big league on Arctic Rally Finland next week still grateful for the opportunity the FIA European Rally Championship gave him.
Finn Lappi bagged European gold in 2014 after he claimed his breakthrough victory in the series on Rally Poland two years earlier.
He completed his 12-event stint in the ERC – the established training ground for world championship drivers – with five wins and 43 fastest stage times.
Crucially, however, the ERC gave him the opportunity to build his limited asphalt experience courtesy of eight sealed-surface starts. And of those eight starts on Tarmac, Lappi notched up three victories with a double triumph on Rallye International du Valais and a single first place on the Circuit of Ireland.
“The ERC was a good time for me, definitely, and especially it was important for me in terms of Tarmac driving,” said Lappi, who spent his ERC tenure as a Škoda Motorsport driver. “There was a lot of Tarmac events and I got a lot of experience on Tarmac from that championship so it was really good.”
Although Lappi’s focus remains on achieving further success in the FIA World Rally Championship, he wouldn’t rule out one-off outings in the future.
“It’s a possibility because these races are in beautiful places and the competition is strong,” Lappi said.