Toni Gardemeister says he is hopeful of returning to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Portugal despite being forced to miss the second round of the season in Brazil.

The former Suzuki WRC driver looked set to take a podium finish on his IRC debut in Monte Carlo only for his Abarth Grande Punto to suffer an alternator failure with two stages remaining while he was running in second place.

The Finn was then looked to bounce back from that disappointment with an entry into the Rally de Curitiba with the Astra Racing team but was forced to shelve the plans due to lack of sponsorship, but he said he wasn't giving up hope of returning to the series later in the year.

"We wanted to be in Brazil but there was not the budget," he said. "But I am not giving up and I will try to do some more events later in the season.

"The Azores Rally is a possibility and it is a rally I would like to try and do but, at the moment, I am not sure what will happen although I am working very hard to carry on. All I can say is that I want to be back in a car as soon as possible because it is important to keep the feeling and the confidence that you need for driving and to be fast."



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