Andersson hopes to prove a point on Rally d¹Italia Sardegna
Rally d¹Italia Sardegna (I), Saturday 17 May, day two (SS6-SS12)

The Suzuki SX4 WRC of P-G Andersson has ended the second day of the Rallyd¹Italia Sardegna just outside the points, after making solid progress thathas underlined the Suzuki World Rally Team¹s focus on reliability. Anderssonwas ninth at the end of the opening day, while his team mate Toni Gardemeister was forced to retire from the day after hitting rear suspension problems on SS11. He made a temporary repair, but the team decided that itwould be safer to withdraw him from the day in order to allow him tore-start tomorrow.

The stages on the second day of the rally were faster and more flowing thanthose of the previous day, but a hard base and a sandy surface meant thatthe roads were extremely slippery. In the afternoon, the threat of rain madethe choice of set-up at midday service complicated, but both Toni and P-Gopted for some compromise settings that worked well in the dry conditions.Having started the day in 11th position, P-G made up two places to endSaturday¹s action just one position away from the points-scoring places. The young Swede¹s aim is to maximise any opportunities that come his waytomorrow in order to score a point and reward the efforts of the Suzuki teamto improve the SX4 WRC¹s reliability.

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

Apart from the problem that halted Toni Gardemeister with just one stage togo, the Suzuki World Rally Team fulfilled its objective to work on the SX4WRC¹s reliability over today¹s six stages that totalled 134.60 competitivekilometres. Suzuki learnt several important lessons from the opening day ofthe event yesterday, and consequently the cars have been generallywell-equipped to deal with the challenge of the narrow Sardinian roadsthroughout day two. The cause of Gardemeister¹s rear suspension problem willbe analysed once the car returns to service at the harbourside in Olbia thisevening and it is hoped that he will re-start the rally tomorrow.

Driver news:
Toni Gardemeister: ³I¹m not really sure what happened, but we had a problemwith the rear suspension on SS11 that badly affected the handling of thecar. It was a pity, as up until then we had encountered no problems at alland enjoyed another really good day. This just goes to show that when thecar is reliable, it can be very effective. We have been deliberately carefulnot to take any risks today, and I certainly haven¹t been pushing to themaximum. We¹ll see what we can do tomorrow, but this rally has been reallyimportant for us so far, as it was vital to achieve a basic level ofreliability in order to move forwards.²

P-G Andersson: ³The car has been perfect today, but the roads arechallenging: it¹s extremely difficult to judge the braking as there is suchinconsistent grip. Having said that, the stages today were actually in muchbetter condition than I expected: after the rain overnight I thought thatthey would be more slippery and that they would cut up more than they did.Punctures were a big risk today because of all the rocks on the side of thestages, so I¹m glad that we survived them. We¹re a minute behind eighthplace at the moment, so it will be tough to score points but we have tohope: you never know what can happen.²

Team news:
Paul Wilding, Suzuki World Rally Team manager: ³We¹re obviously disappointedby the problem that Toni picked up so close to the end of today, but for themoment we don¹t know why it happened and we will need to have a closer lookin order to find out. That shouldn¹t detract though from what has been avery satisfying day in other respects: in particular the flawlessreliability of P-G¹s car, which has enabled us to end the day on the fringesof the points and gather plenty of information that will be very useful forthe future. ²

Day 2 Leaderboard
1. S Loeb/D Elena 2h59m21.5s
2. J-M Latvala/M Attila +29.4s
=. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen +29.4s
4. G Galli/G Bernacchini +1m17.7s
5. D Sordo/M Marti +1m31.3s
6. C Atkinson/S Prevot +2m42.1s
7. H Solberg/C Menkerud +4m29.0s
8. U Aava/K Sikk +4m34.5s
9. P-G Andersson/J Andersson +5m45.9s
10. P Solberg/P Mills +7m29.2s

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