Suzuki retires after strong early showing at Rally of Turkey

The second day of the Rally of Turkey provided one of the toughest challenges of the World Rally Championship season. The mountainous stages to the west of the rally's host town of Kemer were, once again, bathed in sunshine ensuring they were baked hard. Both Suzuki SX4 WRCs made it through the opening stage of day two without any problems. Unfortunately for Toni Gardemeister and P-G Andersson, both drivers retired on the next stage - Gardemeister's car with a broken radiator, Andersson's with an electrical glitch.

Car news - Suzuki SX4 WRC n.11 (Gardemeister), n.12 (Andersson):
The two Suzuki SX4 WRCs demonstrated strong reliability through the opening leg, but succumbed to the exceptionally rough conditions and tremendously high ambient temperatures on the Kemer-based Rally of Turkey. Neither of the SX4 WRCs will start the final day tomorrow. The engine in Gardemeister's car was overheated after the radiator was broken, while the sister Suzuki of Andersson was hit by an electrical issue, which first occurred on the opening day.

Driver news:
Toni Gardemeister:
"There are positives to take away from this rally. We have been quick, quicker than before with the gap regularly below one second per kilometre down on the leader. But when you have some trouble, it's always disappointing. We were about half way through the stage when I noticed the car was starting to lose power. Then the engine temperature was going up. I thought this could be because we were in a very twisty section of the stage - it's normal for the temperature to rise in this condition. But when it carried on going up, then I knew we had to switch off - the radiator was broken. My shoulder was also hurting a little. I hit a big rock early in the stage, which knocked it badly. I had to drive one-handed for a while again. The next round of the championship takes us home to Finland and that's an event I'm really looking forward to. We will have a test and some new parts to come from the car. It's nice to know the SX4 WRC will be even faster when we get to my home."

P-G Andersson: "I was really looking forward to driving the SX4 WRC again today. It had been a really exciting day behind the wheel yesterday and I wanted to show what we could do again on day two. The time in the first stage was good, we were in the top 10 again, but then a couple of hundred metres off the start line in SS11 the car stopped. Yes, it's disappointing not to finish, but look at the times - we were setting top six times yesterday, which shows how far the car has come. I'm excited about the second half of the season already!"

Team news:
Paul Wilding, Suzuki World Rally Team manager:
"We have seen more pace coming from the Suzuki SX4 WRC on this rally. It would have been nice to have got through more stages, as every kilometre we do with this car means more experience for the drivers and the team. P-G has lost a lot of time missing stages today, so the team felt it more worthwhile to trace the cause of the electrical problem here in the service park rather than sending the car out again."

SS 10
SS 11
SS 12
SS 13
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SS 15
SS 16
Saturday 14th June

Mikko Hirvonen
Jari-Matti Latvala
Sebastien Loeb
Henning Solberg
Daniel Sordo
Petter Solberg
Matthew Wilson
Gigi Galli



Rd.15 GB

Rd.15 GB

  [Legendary land - Wales]
  [Team story in Rally Japan]
  [Toni and P-G's Rally Japan Tour]

#10 Mechanic's portrait: Stefan Erixon

#09 Mechanic's portrait: Esa Häkkinen