30 May 08
Suzuki World Rally Team drivers P-G Andersson and Toni Gardemeister ended the opening day of the Acropolis Rally in ninth and eleventh places respectively, but on course to achieve the team’s own performance objectives for the event.
Andersson, who had a reliable run in his SX4 WRC, was quicker than his team-mate on all of the day’s stages and never finished out of the top 10. “It’s been fun in places but I haven’t been going at the maximum today; this rally is about surviving until the finish and that’s what we’ve got our sights firmly set on,” said Andersson. “Tomorrow is a really tough day. There’s still a very long way to go.”
Gardemeister didn’t have such a smooth ride as his team-mate but was encouraged by his speed on the closing stages. “Everything has been quite okay today,” said Gardemeister. “We had some trouble this morning with the fuel pumps, but the afternoon was good. I was at 95 per cent. There is more to come.”
Suzuki World Rally Team manager Paul Wilding said his team was satisfied with the result so far. “Our target for this event is to get the SX4 WRCs to the end of the rally,” said Wilding. “We’re one-third of the way through the toughest rally of the year Č and we’ve had a clean run. The team is very pleased with that. We’re not so focused on stage times here in Greece, what we want to see is good, consistent pace and reliability and both drivers have delivered that. We’re looking forward to more of the same tomorrow, but we remain mindful of just how hard this rally can be.”