Following two test events in Corsica and Great Britain last year, the Suzuki World Rally Team now embarks on its first full season of world rallying with two new drivers: Toni Gardemeister from Finland and Per-Gunnar Andersson from Sweden, the reigning Junior Rally Champion with Suzuki.
This will actually be Suzuki’s seventh Monte Carlo rally, thanks to a successful Junior World Rally Championship campaign that resulted in two titles, but it is obviously the first time in the Principality with the all-new SX4 WRC.
The SX4 WRC sports a striking new white and yellow livery for 2008, and it has already racked up a number of testing kilometres in the region following a pre-Monte Carlo test at the end of last year with both drivers. Using the valuable experience gained from the two test events in 2007, the SX4 WRC features new differential and suspension settings for Monte Carlo, as well as a raft of other improvements under the skin.
Like all the other cars, the SX4 WRC will run on Pirelli’s all-new control tyres introduced for this year. These tyres are not permitted to have anti-deflation mousse, and only one type of tread pattern and compound is allowed per event, in order to reduce costs. However drivers are permitted to hand-cut the tyres to help disperse water or loose gravel, and for Monte Carlo a short stud can also be used if necessary, to find grip in icy conditions.
The entire Suzuki team is eagerly awaiting the unique challenge of Monte Carlo, and the whole 2008 season.