Suzuki's Per-Gunnar Andersson notched up one drivers' point and two manufacturers' points this weekend on the Rallye Monte Carlo, when he brought his SX4 WRC car home in eighth place.

It was a fantastic start to the year for the Swede, especially as it was his very first event in a World Rally Car. It was also great for the Suzuki team too, as the Japanese manufacturer begins it first season in the 'senior' class, following just two 'test' events with the SX4 at the end of last season.

P-G lost time with a driveshaft failure on the opening day, but after that had no real issues and he moved up into eighth on the third leg, when he set six top eight stage times, including a fifth fastest time in SS9.

The 27 year-old, who won the Junior World Rally Championship with Suzuki for the second time last year, was delighted to begin 2008 so positively.

"There's a lot to learn, but I've really enjoyed it and I couldn't have asked for more. To score points on my debut with a brand-new car is a truly fantastic result," he stated.

"My four-wheel drive experience before this event was limited to just a few rallies in a Group N car and some tests, so for me this rally has been all about learning to use the speed and traction of a World Rally Car.

"There's a lot more to come from both me and the car though. It was very important for me to get a good result here as it means I can head into the next round -- my home rally in Sweden,- with a very positive frame of mind."

Suzuki team boss, Nobuhiro Tajima meanwhile was also understandably happy and while he was disappointed to see Toni Gardemeister retire in the sister car - due to overheating problems, he was quick to salute both of his drivers.

"This rally has been an incredibly proud moment for Suzuki as we embark on our world rally dream. I would like to congratulate P-G and Toni on doing a fantastic job: for P-G to finish in the points in his first rally in a World Rally Car is incredible," added Tajima. "I feel very sorry for Toni: he also did an amazing job and it was sad to see him retire.

"As well as the drivers, I would also like to thank the entire team too - this achievement of scoring a point in our very first rally is entirely down to the fact that everybody has been able to work together easily straight away. We are very happy, but our philosophy at Suzuki is always to look forwards rather than back. Already the Monte Carlo Rally is a fantastic memory: now we are fully focussed in working towards the Swedish Rally in two week's time, where our objective will be to try and finish in the points again -- this time with both cars."


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