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Andersson ensures strong finish for Suzuki.

Suzuki enjoyed a strong end to its first full season in the World Rally Championship after Per-Gunnar Andersson matched the best result for the SX4 WRC on Wales Rally GB.

The former Junior World Rally Champion went into the final round of the year buoyed by a fifth place finish in Japan and made the most of his road position on day one to run in a podium position.

Although unable to retain his position during day two and three, Andersson was able to hold off the challenge of Henning Solberg – who crashed out on the penultimate test while trying to catch the Suzuki – to secure fifth place at the finish and match the best result to date for the car.

"It's been a really good rally for me, and the highlight was obviously finishing the first day in third overall," he said. "Today we had a big gap to the car in front so it was more a question of maintaining our position and luckily the conditions were a little more consistent than they were yesterday, so that helped us.

"We've had no problems at all during all three days and equalled our best ever result here despite the tricky weather, so it's an extremely positive way to end the season."

Team-mate Toni Gardemeister ensured both SX4s finished in the points for the second successive event as he finished seventh, leaving team manager Shunsuke Inagaki pleased with the weekend's work.

"The Wales Rally Great Britain is renowned for providing an extremely tough challenge, but conditions this year have been even worse than anticipated," he said. "Nonetheless, our cars have been extremely reliable and our drivers have kept them on the road. As a result, we have once more brought both the SX4 WRCs home in the points without problems for the second consecutive time.

"This is a sign of the very real progress we have made, and I would like to thank everybody in the team for all their efforts over the course of the season."


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