All of Suzuki's four Ignis Super 1600 drivers - Urmo Aava [Estonia]; Daniel Carlsson [Sweden]; Salvador Canellas [Spain]; and Ville-Pertti Teuronen [Finland] - anticipate a strong result on this weekend's Neste Rally Finland, round four of the Junior World Rally Championship.
The rally is the first in this year's JWRC year that all four Suzuki drivers have contested in the past and all expect to be able to capitalise upon the experience they gained previously.
Finland is a fast and furious gravel rally which is one of the most specialised events on the calendar. There have only been two non-Scandinavian winners throughout its long history.
Accurate pace notes are vital in order to accurately launch the car over the blind roller coaster crests that are the hallmark every stage of the rally and the speeds are so fast that even a small mistake can lead to instant disaster.
Pre-event testing has gone well, and the Suzuki drivers were in an upbeat mood as they finished the reconnaissance in the forests around Jyvaskyla. As this rally marks the half way point in the 2003 championship it is a crucial time for all the contenders as a single good or bad result could tip the delicately poised balance of power.
Following the pre event tests the team's Manager, Risto Laine, is in an optimistic mood.
"I think we're in good shape." he says. "We made adjustments to the suspension set-up during the pre-event test and they have worked well. The cars have already proved their strength and reliability and with all of the drivers in a very positive frame of mind, despite the fact that this sport is always unpredictable, we all believe that a good result for the Ignis and Suzuki is very much on the cards."
The rally begins with an evening spectator 'superspecial' stage on Thursday, August 7 and finishes in Jyvaskyla at 15:19 (GMT +2) on Sunday, August 10 after 22 more stages with a total distance of 254.25 miles [409.18 km].Published 6 August 2003