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Suzuki expects difficult rally.

Despite notching up its best-ever result in the World Rally Championship last time out in New Zealand, Suzuki is expecting things to be a lot tougher this week as the series heads to Spain and back to asphalt.

Suzuki will start the event with the same base set-up that it utilised in Germany just over a month ago - the last time competitors competed on sealed surface roads - and while all of the team were encouraged when Toni Gardemeister scored a valuable manufacturers' point in Trier, the Rally de Espana is very different.

Indeed it is a more 'normal' asphalt event and the stages tend to be a lot smoother and quicker. Accurate pace notes are also a must in Spain, as the racing line must be described as precisely as possible to shave off the vital tenths of a second that make the difference between winning and losing.

"Catalunya will be a very difficult rally for us, as it is extremely fast and there is a lot of strong opposition," said Shusuke Inagaki, the director of the Suzuki World Rally Team, ahead of what is only the SX4 WRC cars fourth outing on the 'black stuff'.

"The priority will be to sustain the level of reliability we have recently shown and try out some new asphalt settings, which will be extremely useful when we move on to Corsica just one weekend later.

"After Germany we came up with a few ideas as to how the car could be improved on asphalt. In Spain we will now have the chance to see if those ideas will work. It's a very big challenge but that is why we are here."

Toni Gardemeister and Per-Gunnar Andersson meanwhile are both a bit more optimistic and while the former has only done the event around Salou once, he has done five Catalunya rallies in total.

"I've not driven the Catalunya Rally since 2005, so I don't really know what to expect. It's an event that I like, but it's not always liked me in the past!" said Toni. "For some reason we've often had little problems on this rally that have prevented us from getting a good result.

"It won't be easy because we have many opponents, but if we have a good level of reliability I think that we can score points."



Related Pictures

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Toni Gardemeister (FIN) Tomi Tuominen (FIN), Suzuki SX4 WRC, Suzuki World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
12.02.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
12.02.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
12.02.2017 - Podium WRC 2, 1st place Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport, 2nd place Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - WRC 2, Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport race winner
12.02.2017 - Henning Solberg (NOR)- Ilka Minor (AUT) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
12.02.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Juho Hanninen (FIN)-Kaj Lindstrom (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
12.02.2017 - Juho Hanninen (FIN)-Kaj Lindstrom (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
12.02.2017 - Juho Hanninen (FIN)-Kaj Lindstrom (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
12.02.2017 - Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT race winner
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) FordFiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT race winner

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