Suzuki happy with SX4 WRC’s debut
- 15th October 2007, 8:43am
The Rallye de France – Tour de Corse finished today with four special stages, run as two loops of two with service at Ajaccio in between. The action today consisted of classic Corsica stages, with several tight hairpin bends and plenty of loose gravel on the road where previous cars had cut the corners.
This tested traction and grip to the maximum, forming a valuable part of Suzuki’s testing programme on the Rallye de France. The event also constituted the final round of the Junior Rally Championship, which was won by a Suzuki Swift Super 1600.
Car news – Suzuki SX4 WRC n.19:
The Suzuki SX4 WRC crew of Nicolas Bernardi and Jean-Marc Fortin were delighted to reach the finish of their car’s debut event. The aim for them on this rally has been to continue the development programme on asphalt, and throughout the three days of the Rallye de France the team has been able to sample a wide variety of asphalt conditions.
The car re-started under the super rally system this morning, having been halted by an unforeseen fuel injector problem yesterday. It ran without major problems throughout today’s four stages, totalling 112 competitive kilometres, although Bernardi was slowed by a hydraulic-related gearshift problem, which meant that the car was sometimes reluctant to change gear. Nonetheless he brought it safely to the finish, having collected vital data that will be essential for development in the future.
Suzuki World Rally Team driver Nicolas Bernardi enjoyed the final day behind the wheel of the SX4 WRC, on roads that he has some experience of from the past.
“We’ve been able to confirm a number of things we have discovered from our previous test programme and formulate some very clear ideas about the right direction for the future. During the afternoon we had a problem that affected the gearshift, but it did not stop me from enjoying these fantastic roads!” Bernardi said.
The team has done what it set out to do in Corsica, learning some valuable lessons that will contribute to the future development of the SX4 WRC.
Nobuhiro Tajima, team principal of the Suzuki World Rally Team, commented: “We’re very pleased to get our all-new car to the finish of this event, which was our main objective here. Today’s hydraulic problem was a small inconvenience, but it is all part of the process of testing. This experience has taught us a lot, and we now have several ideas about how we will work on fine-tuning the development of our car..”
The Suzuki World Rally Team’s next event will be the all-gravel Rally Great Britain, round 16 of the World Rally Championship, from November 30-December 2. Sebastian Lindholm will drive the SX4 WRC, co-driven by Tomi Tuominen.
- Full access
- Exclusive news
- Store & Tour discounts