Points still on offer despite a day of mixed fortunes for Suzuki
Toni Gardemeister maintained a provisional points-paying position in 8th.

Day two lived up to its billing as the most demanding of this year’s Rally Finland. With 168 kilometres of flat-out action on a difficult and often deceptive mixture of roads and varying surfaces, Suzuki drivers Toni Gardemeister and P-G Andersson were both making strong progress. Unfortunately, P-G’s rally ended prematurely and in dramatic fashion when he crashed out of the event not far from the end of SS16. While Toni went on to maintain a provisional points-paying position in 8th, P-G was left to rue the very fast section of the fabled Ouninpohja road in the Kakaristo test which caught the Suzuki-driving Swede out. He and co-driver Jonas Andersson were both left bruised by the accident and will not restart tomorrow.

Car news – Suzuki SX4 WRC n.11 (Gardemeister), n.12 (Andersson):
Andersson’s SX4 WRC was running without any problems inside the top 10 when he crashed off the road on SS16. Gardemeister’s car was slowed by a steering problem on the first loop of stages, but thereafter it ran without fault. The Finn, who was still suffering some pain in his right arm after going off the road yesterday afternoon, spent the day further dialling himself into the right settings for today’s mixture of fast, wide and tight, technical stages.

Driver news:
Toni Gardemeister: “My arm has been quite painful from at times today, but otherwise it’s been a good day. I’ve enjoyed the stages, I always do on this rally. I didn’t want to take any risks, the team and I need points from this rally – and that’s the aim for tomorrow. But, Matthew [Wilson] was not far behind and I had to push to make sure we didn’t let him pass.”

P-G Andersson: “I was caught out by a very difficult left-hand corner in Kakaristo stage – another car had already crashed at this point. The car went off the road and into a tree. Fortunately, neither myself, nor Jonas were seriously hurt, but we are both feeling quite stiff from the impact. I’m very sorry for everybody in the team. The car had been running really well; we’d had no problems at all during the event and the pace had been good. We were looking at points here, but that’s the way the sport goes sometimes.”

Team news:
Paul Wilding, Suzuki World Rally Team manager: “Today has definitely been a day of mixed fortunes. Both cars were running well and Toni remains in a very strong position going into the final day. He’s sensibly driving in, what he calls, preservation mode and is looking good to take points tomorrow. As for P-G, the first thing to say is that we are all very relieved that he and Jonas are both fine, that’s our number one priority in an accident like this. That said, we’re disappointed for him and the team – his SX4 WRC was running faultlessly and very quickly until the accident.”

Day 2 Leaderboard
1. S Loeb/D Elena 2h33m43.5s
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen +18.2s
3. C Atkinson/S Prevot +3m03.6s
4. D Sordo/M Marti +3m04.6s
5. H Solberg/C Menkerud +3m31.6s
6. P Solberg/P Mills +3m58.7s
7. M Rantanen/J Löengren +5m55.2s
8. T Gardemeister/T Tuominen +7m28.6s

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