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Suzuki driver Per-Gunnar Andersson has become the first person to win the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) title for the second time after another strong performance by the Swift Super 1600 at the Rallye de France on the weekend.

 

Andersson, who has been the dominant driver in the JWRC all year, wrapped up Suzuki’s second JWRC title in three years by driving a carefully controlled race to finish fourth.

 

Andersson came into the event tied for the lead with fellow Suzuki Swift driver Urmo Aava.

 

Aava was leading the event early and looked like securing his first world title, but a crash on Special Stage 8 meant the popular Estonian had to be content with second position in the title.

 

Andersson had no mechanical issues in the final event of the year and finished in style by recording the fastest time on the penultimate stage.

 

It was Andersson’s second JWRC title, having driven a Suzuki Ignis to first place in the 2004 championship.

 

"It's an amazing feeling to win this prestigious championship for the second time.

 

“There was obviously a lot of pressure on me coming into this event, but I just did my best to try and deal with it as I could. I was not particularly worried when Urmo was in front of me at the start of the rally, as I knew that I had some pace in reserve.

 

“But I was really surprised when I saw his car off the side of the road on SS8 and I had to force myself to concentrate. The rest of the rally was all about trying to get the car to the finish in one piece and drive safely. Thankfully we managed it, and the result is another great championship title.

 

“I'd like to thank my co-driver Jonas Andersson and the entire Suzuki team, which has done a great job all year. Now I need to think carefully about what I do next, but I very much hope to extend my relationship with the Suzuki family into the future," said Andersson.

 

Team principal Nobuhiro “Monster’ Tajima congratulated both drivers on their contribution to another fantastic season for Suzuki.

 

"To finish first and second in the JWRC - after entering the series in 2002 - is a fantastic reward for all the years of passion, commitment and hard work by everyone involved," Tajima said.

 

JWRC final standings

 
  1. P-G Andersson (Suzuki Swift Super 1600) 43 points
  2. Urmo Aava (Suzuki Swift Super 1600) 38 points
  3. Martin Prokop (C2 Super 1600) 34 points
  4. Josef Beres (Clio Super 1600) 26 points
  5. Jaan Molder (Suzuki Swift Super 1600) 20 points
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