WRC »

Q&A: Toni Gardemeister - EXCLUSIVE.

by Rob Wilkins


TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH TONI GARDEMEISTER: CLICK HERE


Toni Gardemeister was confirmed as one of the official Suzuki World Rally Team drivers' for 2008 on Monday. Crash.net Radio caught up with him to chat about that and his hopes for next season...


Crash.net:
Toni, are you looking forward to the challenge with Suzuki?

Toni Gardemeister:
Yes, for sure.

Crash.net:
What do you think you can achieve with the SX4?

TG:
It will be a development year in 2008 and I expect that Suzuki will be able to get some points. That is the main goal. We will try and go step-by-step and develop the car so it is quicker and quicker during the year. Hopefully the car will be faster at the end of the year than at the start.

Crash.net:
How long do you think it will take Suzuki to get up with the likes of Ford and Citroen?

TG:
They have a lot of experience and we start from quite a low level in comparison, because Suzuki hasn't done so many rallies yet with its World Rally Car - the SX4. But next year if we get some points then in 2009 we can go after better results. It is going to take two or three years though to get the best results.

Crash.net:
Have you driven the SX4 yet?

TG:
I have done two small tests – one on tarmac and one on gravel.

Crash.net:
What were your impressions of the SX4 from that?

TG:
First of all I was quite surprised and quite pleased - especially when you consider the kilometres and development they have done. The car is already quite good in my opinion.

Crash.net:
What tests will you do prior to Rallye Monte Carlo?

TG:
I will start testing this week and I will do two and a half days for Monte.

Crash.net:
How tough will Rallye Monte Carlo be for the SX4?

TG:
I think it will be a real test for the car and hopefully everything will go very well there. Monte Carlo is always good for me and if the weather is difficult we could get quite a good result there.

Crash.net:
Are you looking forward to then taking the SX4 to Sweden and using it on snow?

TG:
I like the Swedish Rally a lot and we will do tests for that rally. It will be a very good feeling to go there with Suzuki.

Crash.net:
Next year there will be a control tyre in the WRC with Pirelli coming in. What do you think of that?

TG:
The tyre will be the same for everybody - and it is good to do this. I have done a few tests already for Pirelli and I know the gravel tyres quite well. I haven't tested the tarmac tyres yet. I was quite pleased with the gravel tyres. They were quite quick still compared to the old tyres and they were very reliable.

Crash.net:
Can you tell us how long your deal is with Suzuki?

TG:
It is two years at the moment - and that is very good news. We will have a little bit of time to develop the car and try and achieve some good results.

Crash.net:
How good is it to know you will be doing a full-season, something you haven't done in the WRC since being released by Ford at the end of 2005?

TG:
For sure it is very, very nice and a big boost. I am bored at the moment and can't wait to start work.


TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH TONI GARDEMEISTER: CLICK HERE


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Toni Gardemeister (fin) MMSP mitsubishi Lancer WR05. Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo, 18-20 January 2007
Toni Gardemeister, Suzuki World Rally Team [Pic credit: Suzuki]
Sebastian Lindholm (FIN) / Tomi Tuominen (FIN), Suzuki WRT SX4 WRC
Fans. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Sander Parn. ERC 2WD winner. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Timmu Korge. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Alexey Lukyanuk. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Ott Tanak. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Timmu Korge
Ott Tanak
Bryan Bouffier - Hyundai Shell World Rally Team
Dani Sordo. Hyundai i20 WRC. Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014
Dani Sordo. Hyundai i20 WRC. Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014
Simone Tempestini (ROM) Dorin Pulpea (ROM), Citroen DS3 R3
Simone Tempestini (ROM) Dorin Pulpea (ROM), Citroen DS3 R3
Marco Tempestini (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Marco Tempestini (ITA) Nicola Arena (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Molly Taylor (AUST) Sebastian Marshall (GB), Citroen DS3 R3

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.