05 Feb 08
After setting some top-six stage times and finishing with one car in the points on its full season debut in Monte Carlo, the Suzuki World Rally Team is hoping to get points with both its cars in Sweden.
"This is a very tough objective, but we would not set it if we did not think that it was achievable," said Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima, Suzuki's team principal. "Monte Carlo was a dream debut for us, but we want to go one better now. I believe that we have already shown the clear potential of the SX4 WRC so it is down to us to build on that potential from here on. Sweden is a very exciting event for all of us and especially for P-G as it is his home rally, but once more my instructions to the drivers will be to bring the car home above all. By accumulating as many kilometres as we can and learning step by step, we will continue to make progress."
Sweden is a comparatively new experience for Suzuki, which has only started the event twice before, with Super 1600 cars. But despite its inexperience, the team got off to a good start on snow, and P-G Andersson won the class on both occasions.
In mid-January Suzuki completed a pre-event test in northern Sweden near Kall, racking up around 600 kilometres with both drivers. The team reported that the SX4 WRC proved reliable, and had allowed the drivers to establish base settings that will be used to start the rally.
The team is hoping that its all-Scandinavian line-up of Toni Gardemeister and P-G Andersson will give it some local advantage on the specialist event. Both Toni Gardemeister and P-G Andersson count Sweden amongst their favourite rallies, having each racked up an impressive record of achievement there. This will be 32 year-old Gardemeister's 10th Swedish Rally with a best result of third in 2005.