Suzuki SX4 WRC is Killeri crowd-pleaser on Rally Finland The second half of this year's World Rally Championship got underway in Finland this evening, with the Suzuki SX4 WRCs of Toni Gardemeister and P-G Andersson entertaining thousands of...
Suzuki SX4 WRC is Killeri crowd-pleaser on Rally Finland
The second half of this year's World Rally Championship got underway in Finland this evening, with the Suzuki SX4 WRCs of Toni Gardemeister and P-G Andersson entertaining thousands of rally fans at the Killeri superspecial test just outside Jyvaskyla. Being an all-Scandinavian driving team, both Suzukis received a particularly warm welcome in the warm summer sunshine, but it was local driver Gardemeister who proved the most popular. The Finn turned in the sixth fastest time at this morning's shakedown stage, getting Suzuki's Rally Finland assault off to the best possible start first thing this morning. Full of confidence in the Suzuki SX4 WRC, both drivers are aiming to score points on this most famous of world rally rounds. Ahead of the first proper stage tomorrow morning, Gardemeister holds 16th position, with Andersson in 13th after SS1.
Car news - Suzuki SX4 WRC n.11 (Gardemeister), n.12 (Andersson):
Both drivers had tested their Suzuki SX4 WRCs on Monday, finding a perfect set-up for the WRC's fastest roads of the season. Suzuki has been working on the revised specification of the SX4 WRC through the summer break and both drivers commented on how the changes had improved the car.
Toni Gardemeister: "I am very happy! The time at shakedown was good - and I wasn't taking the big risk to do this. The changes the team has made to the car through the summer have really made a difference. Now we're really looking forward to getting into the forests tomorrow. I want points from this rally."
P-G Andersson: "The Killeri stage is one of the best superspecials in the championship. Okay, these stages are never going to rival to roads we'll use tomorrow, but I like Killeri. There's always a lot of fans there cheering you on, and the long corner at the bottom is a good place to really slide the car - we had a lot of fun with the SX4 WRC. On the whole I'm really optimistic about Rally Finland. It's one of my favourite events of the year and I know we have the speed to set good times and get a good result."
Paul Wilding, Suzuki World Rally Team manager: "We've been really pleased with the way things have gone for Toni Gardemeister today. He set a great time at shakedown this morning, which followed on from a really positive test earlier in the week, and starts the event with a lot of confidence. P-G, like Toni, is really upbeat - as we all are - about the event we have in prospect this week."