Aaron Burkart will compete in the Junior World Rally Championship again this season having concluded a deal to use a Swift S1600 constructed and supported by Suzuki Sport Europe.
Burkart, who took the runners-up spot in the J-WRC in 2008, tested a Swift S1600 recently and the German was so impressed he has decided to make the switch, having used a Citroen C2 S1600 for the last three years.
"I have a good feeling and I am already looking forward to our premiere event," explained the 26-year-old ahead of the Rally Ireland later this month. "Up to now we just had a little time in the car but I liked the Swift from the first metre."
With the J-WRC season starting early in 2009, there is not much time for Burkart to get use to his new stead, but he is still nonetheless confident about his prospects: "It is a lot of work until a new car is completely adjusted to your personal driving style. But I am confident," he confirmed.
"The Swift's performance on tarmac and on gravel is remarkable, as well as the level of professionalism and the passion on which the team's work is based. I think that it will be a successful and enjoyable year."
Mr. Ishii, the team manager of Suzuki Sport Europe, is also optimistic about what they can achieve in 2009.
"We are proud that we can collaborate with such a promising driver like Aaron," he added. "The test was only a few days and not a long distance but even though it was only a short time, he showed us his high potential and I could see his talent as a rally driver. Not only tarmac, but also on gravel, he can control his car very well. As he got the JWRC runners-up title, his improvement is accelerating. I am sure, Aaron and the Swift, this combination will make good chemistry."
Further support meanwhile will come from Lorenza Bellini. She is already adapted at managing rally drivers and will stand by Burkart's side for the whole season.
"I am in great anticipation for the JWRC season. Aaron is a really talented driver, who already showed his competitiveness in 2008. With the assistance of Suzuki Sport Europe we now established a basis for 2009 that may be a perfect precondition for winning the JWRC-title," she concluded. "We are all extraordinarily motivated and will do our best to achieve this common purpose."