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World Rally Championship Commission President visits Suzuki headquarters

FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) World Rally Championship Commission President M.D. Chandler made a courtesy call at Suzuki Motor Corporation’s headquarters in Hamamatsu on 20 June.
He welcomed Suzuki’s plans to participate in the World Rally Championship from October 2007 and expressed his hope of working with Suzuki to develop the championship.

Suzuki plans to join the World Rally Championship with the SX4 WRC car in the 2008 season. We began testing the car in Europe in April this year, and we’ll be running it in the Rallye de France this October and the Rally GB this November on a test basis.

Mr. Chandler commented
“The FIA is pleased to welcome Suzuki Motor Corporation into the WRC late in 2007. I am pleased to be able to discuss with Suzuki Motor Corporation the plans for the long-term future of the World Rally Championship. The FIA WRC is a very popular sport and has a substantial television and public following. The FIA is presently reviewing the long-term future of the WRC and wishes to work alongside Suzuki Motor Corporation to ensure that the plans we have are suitable for all manufacturers.”

Mr. Hirotaka Ono, Senior Managing Executive Officer (Board Member), commented
“We at Suzuki are bracing ourselves for the challenge of competing in rallies at the highest level. There are countless unknowns; we have yet to see how well the technologies we’ve refined in compact-car production will perform in the punishing environment of the WRC, and we can only guess whether we’ll be able to duplicate the kind of success we’ve had in the Junior World Rally Championship. We plan to focus on one rally at a time, making the best use of everything we learn.”

From the left
Mr.Osamu Honda
Senior Managing Executive Officer, Automobile Engineering, Powertrain & Electric Design, SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION
Mr. Hirotaka Ono
Board Member, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Global Marketing, SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION
Mr. M.D. Chandler
President, FIA World Rally Championship Commission
Mr.Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima
Mr. Yoshiki Hiyama
Manager, Sports division, Japan Automobile Federation (JAF)