Having seen both cars make it to the finish in Germany, Suzuki will hope to break into the points in New Zealand as the World Rally Championship heads down under for the eleventh round of the year.

The debut campaign for the SX4 has proved to be a challenging one so far, with the Munchi's Ford team being six points ahead in the championship standings despite not taking part in all the events run to date in 2008.

However, recent events have seen improved reliability from the two cars, which had been dogged by teething problems earlier in the year, and both Toni Gardemeister - who took a podium on his debut in a WRC car in New Zealand back in 1999 - and PG Andersson will look to secure vital points to move up the pecking order.

"This rally is great fun to drive: it's like nowhere else in the world," Gardemeister said. "It's been a long time since I drove in New Zealand and most of the stages will be new to me, but I'm looking forward to them and I think they should suit us well. I've always had a good feeling in New Zealand and if things go well we have a decent chance of a good result.

"The most important thing is that our SX4 WRC seems very reliable now, so if we stay out of trouble again we can hope to score some points. Certain parts of Rally New Zealand are a little bit like Finland, but you don't need so much power: it's more a question of carrying the momentum through all the bends and finding a good rhythm."

Team-mate Andersson has only one start in New Zealand under his belt back in 2005 while competing in the JWRC and he admitted he was looking for a trouble-free weekend in the sister car.

"There's going to be a lot for me to take on board, but from what I remember of the Rally New Zealand I liked it very much," he said. "It's the sort of place where you can't force a car: you have to drive naturally and let the rhythm come to you. In that respect, it's a little bit similar to Sweden. I'm going to try not to make any mistakes, and hopefully we should have a good result to show for our efforts."


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