Suzuki continues to make progress on tricky asphalt of Monte Carlo Rally
Gardemeister at Rally Monte Carlo - Day 2

At the end of Suzuki's first full day of World Championship rallying, both cars are safely at the finish with some valuable lessons learned for the future. The SX4 WRC has again set top 10 times today, with P-G Andersson finishing 11th overall and Toni Gardemeister 14th.

Andersson had a clean run throughout the day, although he encountered a small gear selection problem in the morning and also stalled at the start of SS5. Gardemeister's progress was not quite so straightforward, as he had to cope with a loss of boost pressure in the morning (which was fixed by the Suzuki mechanics at midday service in Valence) and then a lack of engine response in the afternoon.

Today's roads were mostly dry, with only a few damp places and a number of flat-out sections that pushed drivers and cars to the limit. In these rapid conditions, the Suzuki SX4 WRC proved itself capable of setting top 10 stage times once more, underlining its clear potential for a points finish on its debut.

Car news - Suzuki SX4 WRC n.11 (Gardemeister), n.12 (Andersson):

Gardemeister had limited turbo boost throughout all three of the morning's stages, which held him back on the tricky mountain roads - especially during the long uphill sections. The Suzuki mechanics traced it to a small electrical problem at service, but the Finn then suffered an unrelated problem in the afternoon that affected the engine response.

Andersson left service four minutes late this morning as a result of some differential adjustments, which led to a 40-second road penalty. However, he had no real problems at all throughout the rest of the day and made excellent progress on what is only his first-ever World Championship event in a World Rally Car.

Driver news:
Toni Gardemeister: "We had a few issues today but nothing major: it's already clear that we have a lot of potential so I'm happy and I know where we can improve. I'm actually surprised by how quick we have been already when things are working well. There's a very long way still to go on this rally, so tonight we will get the car back to perfect order and see what we can do: tomorrow's stages are very nice."

P-G Andersson: "Today has been very good for us, as we've had no real problems and we've been able to set some good times. The encouraging thing is that we have already been able to go quicker than some cars and drivers with more experience. I'm going to stick to a steady pace, because the priority for me is to finish."

Team news:
Osamu Honda, Suzuki Senior Managing Executive Officer: "At what is still the start of our first event, we are finally living our dream in one of the toughest forms of motor sport. Competition is in Suzuki's DNA, from motorbikes to cars. We are finding out of course that the top category of the World Rally Championship is extremely challenging, but competition like this is the best way for us to express our deep passion for our cars. Like the slogan says, for us it is a Way of Life!"

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