SX4 sets top ten times on Friday

SX4 sets top ten times on FridayFrom General Article [ 25/01/2008 ].
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At the end of Suzuki’s first full day of World Championship rallying, both cars are safely at the finish with some valuable lessons learned for the future. The SX4 WRC has again set top 10 times today, with P-G Andersson finishing 11th overall and Toni Gardemeister 14th.

Andersson had a clean run throughout the day, although he encountered a small gear selection
problem in the morning and also stalled at the start of SS5. Gardemeister’s progress was not quite
so straightforward, as he had to cope with a loss of boost pressure in the morning (which was fixed
by the Suzuki mechanics at midday service in Valence) and then a lack of engine response in the
afternoon.

Today’s roads were mostly dry, with only a few damp places and a number of flat-out sections that
pushed drivers and cars to the limit. In these rapid conditions, the Suzuki SX4 WRC proved itself
capable of setting top 10 stage times once more, underlining its clear potential for a points finish on
its debut.

Car news – Suzuki SX4 WRC n.11 (Gardemeister), n.12 (Andersson):

Gardemeister had limited turbo boost throughout all three of the morning’s stages, which held him
back on the tricky mountain roads – especially during the long uphill sections. The Suzuki
mechanics traced it to a small electrical problem at service, but the Finn then suffered an unrelated
problem in the afternoon that affected the engine response.

Andersson left service four minutes late this morning as a result of some differential adjustments,
which led to a 40-second road penalty. However, he had no real problems at all throughout the rest
of the day and made excellent progress on what is only his first-ever World Championship event in
a World Rally Car.

Driver news:

Toni Gardemeister: “We had a few issues today but nothing major: it’s already clear that we have a
lot of potential so I’m happy and I know where we can improve. I’m actually surprised by how quick
we have been already when things are working well. There’s a very long way still to go on this rally,
so tonight we will get the car back to perfect order and see what we can do: tomorrow’s stages are
very nice. ”

P-G Andersson: “Today has been very good for us, as we’ve had no real problems and we’ve been
able to set some good times. The encouraging thing is that we have already been able to go
quicker than some cars and drivers with more experience. I’m going to stick to a steady pace,
because the priority for me is to finish.”

Team news:
Osamu Honda, Suzuki Senior Managing Executive Officer: “At what is still the start of our first
event, we are finally living our dream in one of the toughest forms of motor sport. Competition is in
Suzuki’s DNA, from motorbikes to cars. We are finding out of course that the top category of the
World Rally Championship is extremely challenging, but competition like this is the best way for us
to express our deep passion for our cars. Like the slogan says, for us it is a Way of Life!”