15 Jun 08
The Suzuki World Rally Team has withdrawn its two SX4 WRCs after they were both damaged on the second stage of Saturday’s competition.
The engine in Gardemeister's car was overheated after the radiator was broken, while the sister Suzuki of Andersson was hit by an electrical problem, which first occurred on the opening day.
Suzuki Team manager Paul Wilding said that despite the early finish, his team had been encouraged by the ever improving speed of its car. "We have seen more pace coming from the Suzuki SX4 WRC on this rally,” he said. “It would have been nice to have got through more stages, as every kilometre we do with this car means more experience for the drivers and the team. P-G has lost a lot of time missing stages today, so the team felt it more worthwhile to trace the cause of the electrical problem here in the service park rather than sending the car out again."
Toni Gardemeister also remained upbeat: "There are positives to take away from this rally,” he said. “We have been quick, quicker than before with the gap regularly below one second per kilometre down on the leader. But when you have some trouble, it's always disappointing. We were about half way through the stage when I noticed the car was starting to lose power. Then the engine temperature was going up. I thought this could be because we were in a very twisty section of the stage - it's normal for the temperature to rise in this condition. But when it carried on going up, then I knew we had to switch off - the radiator was broken.”
P-G Andersson said that while he was disappointed not to be out on the stages again on Sunday, he was hopeful of a more competitive car after the WRC summer break. “The time in the first stage was good, we were in the top 10 again, but then a couple of hundred metres off the start line in SS11 the car stopped, said Andersson. “Yes, it's disappointing not to finish, but look at the times - we were setting top six times yesterday, which shows how far the car has come. I'm excited about the second half of the season already!"
Suzuki World Rally Team driver Toni Gardemeister is the subject of the wrc.com blog in Turkey. Follow the link below to read an in-depth account of his rally: Toni’s blog