Per-Gunnar Andersson lifted Suzuki to new heights in running up in a superb and unheralded third position at the end of the opening day of Wales Rally GB in his little SX4 WRC - and now he is praying for more rain in order to keep him there.

The Swede has notched up just eight points in 2008 to-date - courtesy of eighth place in Monaco, sixth in New Zealand and fifth last time out on Rally Japan - but he is on-course to almost double that tally should he remain where he is for the remainder of the British round on the calendar.

The 2007 Junior World Rally Champion clearly relished the treacherous, icy conditions of the challenging mid-Welsh forests as his rivals played themselves in more cautiously, and he returned to end-of-day service in Swansea just over 20 seconds shy of early leader Jari-Matti Latvala. It was, he admitted, somewhat unexpected.

"It was a fantastic day!" enthused the 28-year-old, speaking to Crash.net in Swansea. "I've never been in this position before in the WRC, but everything has been working very well and the car is really good.

"You always look at being in the top eight to start with, and then see what you can do. It will be difficult to stay there, but we will try. If it keeps on raining, it's fine."

by Russell Atkins

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