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Suzuki comes full circle.

Suzuki will return to where it all started with the SX4 WRC car this weekend, when Toni Gardemeister and Per-Gunnar Andersson compete on the Rallye de France-Tour Corse.

The Japanese manufacturer made its debut at the top level exactly one year ago in Corsica and on that occasion a solitary development car was driven by asphalt expert Nicolas Bernardi.

Now Suzuki is back and while Catalunya didn't really go to plan, the experienced gained there should be useful. The team will also benefit from some evolutions to the differential and suspension.

"Doing Corsica straight after Spain is a big challenge for us logistically, and it is also hard work for all our people. On the other hand though, it means that we do not lose the momentum we have built up," said Suzuki team director, Shusuke Inagaki.

"Corsica is also one of only two events where we have previous experience with the SX4 WRC. We have made many changes to the SX4 WRC since we started and are feeling confident with the progress we have made so far. The goal will be to build on everything we have learned and continue to improve the car, step by step."

Gardemeister and Andersson meanwhile have some extremely fond memories of Corsica, one of the most awesome events in the entire World Rally Championship.

Gardemeister's last participation saw him finish second overall in 2005 and he has contested it five times to date: "Corsica is a rally that you need to know well," said Gardemeister. "I've always liked it, although it's important to find a good rhythm straight away. The most difficult thing about it is the fact that the asphalt is always changing and that you can never guess what the weather will do.

"I know the roads quite well, and it will be interesting to see what sort of difference it makes to the team to have competed there before. The problem we have is that the opposition will be very tough, as asphalt is usually a less forgiving surface than gravel. But if we maintain our good reliability, then I don't see why we can't score some points."

Andersson clinched his second Junior title with Suzuki on the island one year ago and as that was his first outing in Corsica, he is determined to make sure he gets to the finish.

"We spent half the event last year pushing like mad, but then when my main rival went off it was a question of just getting safely to the end," added the 28 year-old. "Corsica is one of those legendary rallies that everybody talks about because it is such a big challenge.

"Although it went very well for me last time, I've still got a lot to learn about the place as well as about asphalt driving in general. So for me, the priority will be to check my pace notes and make sure that I finish."


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