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Suzuki boss: We need to avoid unnecessary risks.

Suzuki boss Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima has advised his two drivers' to avoid any 'unnecessary risks' on this weekend's Rallye Deutschland, the latest round in the World Rally Championship.

Suzuki managed to notch up another two manufacturers' points on the Rally Finland last time out, when Toni Gardemeister brought his Suzuki SX4 WRC car home in eighth place, and that increased the squad's tally to twelve points.

With the Munchi's Ford World Rally Team not in action this weekend as Germany is not one of its ten events, Suzuki has a good chance to capitalise and close the seven point gap to fifth spot in the manufacturers' standings.

"Germany is maybe the most difficult asphalt rally of them all, and we come to it having not competed on this surface for seven months [since the Monte]," said Tajima. "It is also the first time in Germany for the SX4 WRC, so we will use the rally to fine-tune the set-up of the car to its very specific demands.

"There is a lot to learn, but historically this is a rally where it is possible to do well by staying out of trouble. My advice to the drivers is to avoid any unnecessary risks; in the meantime we will continue our work in trying to improve the performance and the reliability of the SX4 WRC."

Toni Gardemeister and Per-Gunnar Andersson meanwhile have both competed in Germany before. Indeed Gardemeister knows the rally very well, having been there six times, his best result a fourth place finish in 2006. Last year he finished seventh and while he is upbeat following his form in Finland, he too concurs that the main thing will be to get to the end as cleanly as possible.

"I like asphalt driving, although Germany is far from typical asphalt," explained the Finn. "In many ways it is a bit like Monte Carlo, as the amount of grip you get from the roads is always changing and you never know what the weather conditions are going to be like. I'm not really sure why, but these kind of conditions tend to suit me.

"Although there are some fast bits, this is not a rally that is all about maximum power: instead you need to have a car that is quite good in every area and most of all you need to stay out of trouble. If we can avoid problems this rally could be a very good opportunity for us."

P-G also enjoys driving on asphalt, although in contrast to Gardemeister he has only done the Rallye Deutschland once - when he finished fourth in the J-WRC class three years ago at the wheel of a Suzuki Swift S1600.

"I think it will be a lot of fun," added the Swede. "I don't know the roads so well, but we've already seen many times this year that we are capable of finishing in the points even on rallies that are new to us, providing we have a clean run. My aim is to accumulate more asphalt experience and finish, but I hope we can get points as well."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Toni Gardemeister (FIN), Suzuki WRT SX4 WRC and Nobuhiro `Monster` Tajima (JPN), Suzuki WRT Team Boss. Rallye Monte Carlo, 24-27th January 2008.
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