Strong points finish for Suzuki Juniors in Corsica The twisty mountain roads of Corsica have always been a happy hunting ground for Suzuki's junior competitors and this year is no exception. At the end of three tough days and 359 competitive ...
Strong points finish for Suzuki Juniors in Corsica
The twisty mountain roads of Corsica have always been a happy hunting ground for Suzuki's junior competitors and this year is no exception. At the end of three tough days and 359 competitive kilometres, two Suzuki Swift Super 1600s have finished in the points on the final round of the 2008 Junior World Rally Championship.
Frenchman Pierre Marche has claimed a stunning fourth on his World Championship debut, having earned a 'wild card' entry on the legendary Tour de Corse after winning the Suzuki Rallye Cup in France. In seventh place is Suzuki Rallye Junior Team Germany driver Florian Niegel, claiming his third points finish of the year. Both cars were flawlessly reliable from start to finish, enabling the drivers to bag some excellent results despite their inexperience.
Suzuki Sport Europe drivers Michal Kosciuszko and Jaan Molder were not so lucky, although they both finished in the top eight of the final Junior World Rally Championship standings at the end of the year. Kosciuszko's rally was over on the first morning when he went off the road. Molder lost time with an electrical problem on the second day of the event and also fell victim to a puncture: a constant hazard of fast asphalt rallies where the drivers cut the corners. Nonetheless the Estonian had a solid final day on the Tour de Corse, building up more experience of these highly-specialised roads en route to an eventual 11th place in the Junior classification.
Today's action consisted of two loops of a pair of long stages, making up a competitive distance of 116 kilometres to the south of Ajaccio.
News from Jaan Molder (EE) - Suzuki Swift n.32:
"It's been a very enjoyable rally but this event is never easy. I'm sure we could have been comfortably in the points with a clean run though. I found it quite hard to build up enough confidence to really push hard on the stages, but I think that only comes with time. Towards the end of the event we were beginning to really understand what is needed to be quick here. I'd like to thank the Suzuki Sport Europe team for giving us a car that has been fantastic all year. I've really appreciated the Swift's strength and performance."
News from Michal Kosciuszko (PL) - Suzuki Swift n.35:
"It was a pity for me to end my final rally in this year's Junior Championship with an accident, but these things can happen if you are pushing hard! In any case, this is not what I will remember most about this year. Instead, I've enjoyed a season with some fantastic battles fighting against some very talented people. It's been a pleasure to drive the Swift Super 1600, which has shown speed and reliability throughout the season."
News from Florian Niegel (D) - Suzuki Swift n.43:
"It's been a really good rally and a great way for us to end the year, which has been all about learning for us. We've had no real problems throughout the event: we just concentrated on not making mistakes and using some of the experience we gained on the last two asphalt rallies in Germany and Spain. The car has been completely reliable all year and it is very easy to drive, which makes our learning process easier. In the end we found a very good set-up for this rally and gained plenty of useful knowledge for the future."
News from Pierre Marche (F) - Suzuki Swift n.60:
"I've really enjoyed this event, and I'm very happy to have scored points on my Junior World Rally Championship debut. With two long stages repeated today it was important to look after the tyres and luckily we managed to do that. I started the day with the idea of trying to catch the person in front of me and it all went according to plan. Apart from going straight on at a junction on SS14 we had no problems at all today. Now I'm very impatient to drive this car again: it's been a fantastic experience on some truly challenging roads."