After another successful test Suzuki has confirmed that the all-new Swift Super 1600 will make its debut on round five of the Junior World Rally Championship, Rally Finland, which takes place from 4-7 August.
The brand new Swift Super 1600 has recently received homologation (type approval) from the FIA, which governs world rallying, and the objective for the car to win its debut event remains firmly fixed.
Suzuki has been further encouraged by an extremely successful four-day asphalt test in the south of France, where the Swift racked up more than 500 trouble-free kilometres in the hands of Junior World Rally Championship pace-setters P-G Andersson and Guy Wilks.
The test took place in warm conditions on the mountain roads around Gap, near Aix-en-Provence. The objective of the test was to establish some base asphalt settings, but the results far exceeded expectations.
P-G, who is leading the Junior World Rally Championship, commented: "Our aim was just to run through a few set-up ideas in terms of suspension, brakes and steering, but our work went far beyond that. I am very, very happy with the car and its potential. I always had every confidence in Suzuki's engineers, but I must admit that the rate of our progress has surprised even me."
Guy, currently second in the Junior World Rally Championship, reported: "The Swift is a stunning car and we've done a lot of extremely useful work. The car's handling and balance is exceptionally good, and I feel very confident about what we can achieve both in Finland and in the long-term future. Reliability has been excellent as well and I am sure we can be straight on the pace."
Suzuki Sports President Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima commented: "In all my years of motor sport, I have never been on a test where the feedback was so positive straight away. We achieved a lot in our test, with no major technical issues, and we all believe that we can win in Finland. Of course we know it will not be easy, but our confidence is a sign of the absolute faith we all have in this stunning new car which we have developed together."
Suzuki motorsport Project Leader Ryohei Matsumoto commented: "The new Swift is Suzuki's strategic model for the global market. We've been delighted to have very positive feedback about the handling, driveability and character of the Swift road car from the market, and our new rally car has as its foundation these virtues. We look forward to success in the Junior World Rally Championship from our first event with it in Finland, thanks to the excellent job the team has done in fully preparing the car for its debut."
Rally Finland is the fastest and most technically challenging event of the entire calendar, with a perfect set-up required from the cars and total commitment needed from the drivers. There will be a final three-day test in Finland immediately prior to the event in order to fine-tune the Swift's gravel set-up to the specific conditions.Published 27 July 2005