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Gardemeister rues day one puncture.

Toni Gardemeister reckons he could have got good points for Suzuki on the Rally RACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada last weekend if it wasn't for a puncture on the opening day.

Gardemeister looked all set to at least get a manufacturers' point until he lost more than two and a half minutes on the repeat-run through the 21.26 kilometre Querol stage, something that dropped him from tenth to 18th.

While he had a largely trouble-free run through days two and three by then the damage was done and he could only finish 13th.

"It's a shame that we picked up the puncture on the first day, otherwise I am sure that we could have got some good points here," said the Finn.

"This rally has been very useful for us though, as we have come away with a lot of vital information for Corsica. I'm also pleased with the level of reliability: we've had no mechanical problems from start to finish which is among the most important things on the World Rally Championship, as our double points finish on the last round in New Zealand showed.

"So I'm feeling quite confident as we head to Corsica; hopefully we can put all the potential we have shown on asphalt into practice there."

Gardemeister's team-mate Per-Gunnar Andersson meanwhile also struggled after a major setback early on, when a pace note error on the second test on Friday meant that he went off the road and slithered down a bank. The car was undamaged but the young Swede was unable to regain the stage and continue.

Although he restarted on Saturday under the SupeRally, with a 25-minute penalty his event was also effectively over – at least in terms of getting anywhere near the top-ten.

"I've been happy with the car in Spain, which makes my mistake on Friday all the more annoying as we had the chance to claim a good result," he added.

"After that I put all my efforts into testing and development work for Corsica: we should be well-prepared now as we tried some stiffer damper settings this morning. Corsica is not a rally that I know well, but I am looking forward to it a lot. I think the roads there will probably suit the Suzuki SX4 WRC better than the roads here in Spain."


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