Debut victory for Kosciuszko in Sardinia
Rally d'Italia Sardegna ­ Sunday 18 May ­ day three (SS13-SS17)

Suzuki driver Michal Kosciuszko has taken his debut victory on the Rallyd¹Italia Sardegna, round three of the Junior World Rally Championship. ThePole was in contention for the victory from the very start of the rally,having been involved in a close fight with Citroen driver Martin Prokop,which saw the pair trading seconds. At one point, the duo were separated byjust half a second, but Kosciuszko managed to make his advantage stick overthe final day, before Prokop encountered technical problems.

By contrast, Kosciuszko¹s Suzuki Swift Super 1600 was entirely reliablethroughout the event, despite the rough conditions and unpredictable weatherthat made the stages particularly tricky for the two-wheel drive runners inthe hotly-contested Junior World Rally Championship. The result has boostedKosciuszko to second in the points standings, just eight points behind theleader Sebastien Ogier.

Once more, Kosciuszko¹s Swift, run by Suzuki Sport Europe, was faultless onthe final day of the rally ­ which saw the final stage run as a road sectionfor the Junior runners ­ and the Pole sealed a memorable first victory atthe wheel of a Suzuki. The other Suzuki drivers were not quite as lucky.Jaan Molder, also run by Suzuki Sport Europe, was in a strong fifth beforebeing forced into retirement from leg two with an oil leak. He re-joinedunder the super rally system today, setting fastest time on the penultimatestage, and eventually finishing ninth. Florian Niegel, in a Swift Super 1600run by Suzuki Rallye Junior Team Germany, retired definitively on theopening stage of day two after rolling his car beyond repair.

News from Jaan Molder (Suzuki Swift n.32):
³Today was all about testing for the future, as it was always going to bealmost impossible for me to score some points. Also it¹s hard to have thesame motivation when you have retired. But it is always good to have time inthe car, so today was not wasted. We can get some good experience forFinland, where the roads are quite similar to how they are back home in Estonia.²

News from Michal Kosciuszko (Suzuki Swift n.35):
³It¹s been a fantastic rally and I am absolutely overjoyed to take my firstJunior win! From the beginning my car was perfect: I think we had the bestset-up in the service park. My only regret is that Martin Prokop had aproblem on the final day, as I would have liked the fight to continue to thefinish; but we had two days of really close competition and it was the mostexciting rally of my career. Sometimes I was a bit too cautious, but wedidn¹t have any big moments or punctures at all during the three days so itwas the right decision. I¹d like to thank all the Suzuki team: I don¹t thinkit is possible to have a better car in conditions like this.²

News from Florian Niegel (Suzuki Swift n.43):
³It was obviously a frustrating rally for us, as by the second day we werereduced to being spectators rather than drivers, as the result of ouraccident. But looking on the positive side, we have been able to have a bitof time behind the wheel of the car on gravel, which will be vital for thefuture as I am still lacking in experience compared to the others.²

Final positions
1. S Loeb/D Elena 3hr 57min 17.2sec
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen 3hr 57min 27.8sec
3. J-M Latvala/M Anttila 3hr 57min 32.5sec
4. G Galli/G Bernacchini 3hr 58min 59.7sec
5. D Sordo/M Marti 3hr 59min 22.8sec
6. C Atkinson/S Prevot 4hr 02min 25.8sec
7. H Solberg/C Menkerud 4hr 03min 18.2sec
8. U Aava/K Sikk 4hr 03min 38.5sec
9. P-G Andersson/J Andersson 4hr 05min 05.9sec
10 P Solberg/P Mills 4hr 06min 58.2sec

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