JRC: Suzuki, Aava show off Swift in Japan.
Urmo Aava managed to finish in the top 15 for Suzuki on the Rally Japan on Sunday after the Japanese manufacturer opted to take in the event to show off its FIA Junior Rally Championship-winning Swift Super 1600.
Although the 14th round in the WRC was not part of the JRC, Aava did enough to finish in front of a number of more powerful four-wheel drive cars.
Furthermore despite having started towards the back of the field, which meant that he continually had to cope with worsening conditions as the four-wheel drive cars cut up the roads, he had a pretty trouble-free run.
Indeed the Estonian's Swift was reliable throughout the three-days - the only problem an oil leak from the transmission in the final leg, which was soon fixed in the first service.
Aava, who finished second in this year's JRC, 5 points behind his Suzuki team-mate, Per-Gunnar Andersson, was delighted to have got the chance to do the Rally Japan.
"This rally has been a fantastic experience for me and I would like to thank Suzuki for giving me this valuable opportunity. Rally Japan has been one of the most challenging events I have ever driven on, and I think that both me and my co-driver Kuldar Sikk have learnt a lot over these three days," he reflected.
"The softer tyres worked better in the drier conditions today, giving me good grip, and the stages were better suited to the car as there were no long uphill sections. We had no real problems during the event, but starting so far down the order behind all the Group N cars on Friday was a definite handicap: I don't think I've ever had a start number this low even in my early days on the Estonian Championship! However, this gave me a useful opportunity to learn more about driving in rough and rutted conditions, which will be invaluable for the future."
Suzuki team boss, Nobuhiro Tajima meanwhile was impressed with Urmo's performance and he felt the outing was definitely worthwhile so that they had a presence on their home event.
"Congratulations to Urmo for doing another fantastic job for us, and bringing the car home safely. The idea here was for Urmo to enjoy himself and show everybody what our Super 1600 Swift can do: I think he has succeeded at both these things," Tajima added.
"Conditions were as difficult as they have ever been on the Rally Japan, but Urmo made no mistakes and our car was entirely reliable. Consequently, Urmo has brought us an impressive result at home, which is a perfect way for us to finish our season with the Swift Super 1600 - which finished first and second in the Junior Championship this year. Congratulations to everybody!"
Source: [url=http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/29102007/23/jrc-suzuki-aava-show-swift-japan.html]Yahoo! Eurosport[/url]
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