Suzuki World Rally Team man Toni Gardemeister claimed the final manufacturers' point on the Rallye Deutschland last weekend when he brought his SX4 WRC home in tenth place.
Gardemeister enjoyed a reliable run throughout the three-days and posted eight top ten times in total, including a seventh best effort in SS15 on Sunday, something that is a positive sign for the future.
Having also gone well in Finland at the start of the month, when he was eighth, the Finn is now optimistic ahead of the next round in the World Rally Championship in New Zealand in two weeks' time.
"I've been happy with the car on this rally. This is the second event in a row where we have had virtually no problems and a clean run to the finish. The reliability is at a good level now, which means that we can begin to work more on the speed of the car," he stated.
"If you compare the amount of running our car has had with the other WRC cars, we are making quite good progress. This is probably the most difficult of all the asphalt rallies, so to come away with a manufacturers' point is a good result.
"I'm feeling reasonably optimistic for the other asphalt rounds in Spain and Corsica now. Today I really enjoyed myself."
Per-Gunnar Andersson also finished in the sister SX4 WRC, however he ended up down in 15th, having lost more than 5 minutes on Saturday, when he hit a kerb in SS8 damaging a rear wheel hub and the suspension.
"We had no problems today: we just concentrated on taking it steady and getting to the finish. The rally was a very valuable experience for both me and the team, but I suffered a bit from inexperience," said the Swede
"I haven't driven on this event since 2005 and not on asphalt since January and this is the sort of rally where you need to have full confidence in order to push to the maximum.
"It's a pity that we hit the side of the road yesterday and broke a driveshaft: without that problem I think we could have been in the top 10. It's been a very useful three days and we've taken away a lot of information that will be extremely useful to us for the future."
Suzuki World Rally team manager Paul Wilding meanwhile believes that can continue to progress and add to their 13-point tally during the remaining five rounds.
"This has been a very positive event for us and it's great to have two cars at the finish of such a tough rally. The consistency we have demonstrated here shows that all the hard work is paying off, and puts us in a strong position to build on our solid progress throughout the remaining rounds of the championship, on both gravel and asphalt," he concluded.