Suzuki bows out of J-WRC with third title

Nobuhiro Tajima confirms end of an era

By Franck Drui

29 October 2010 - 17:30
Suzuki bows out of J-WRC with third (…)

Suzuki Sport chairman Nobuhiro Tajima has described the sense of pride he felt after Aaron Burkart clinched the Junior World Rally Championship crown on Rally de Espana earlier this month, the final event for the Japanese team in the young driver series.

With the J-WRC being replaced by the new WRC Academy in 2011, Suzuki Sport Europe has confirmed it will no longer compete on world championship events after deciding to cease its motorsport activities at the end of the year. Burkart was driving a Suzuki Swift Super 1600 for the Hungary-based squad.

“Suzuki Sport Europe was present in the J-WRC from the beginning and been a determinant part of the J-WRC,” said Tajima. “We are very happy and proud that we could do that, and to have won [the title] three times. We would like to thank to all of our fans for all their encouragement.”

In addition to Burkart, Swede P-G Andersson took the J-WRC crown for Suzuki in 2004, at the wheel of an Ignis, and then again in 2007 driving a Swift.

“We secured the J-WRC title two times with P-G Andersson and now I am also very happy that we are champions again,” said Tajima. “In the name of Suzuki Sport Europe personally I’d like to thank for Aaron his efforts and congratulate him for his first J-WRC title.

“From next year Suzuki Sport Europe will join Monster Sport Europe in the UK. Suzuki Sport Europe has already made a decision to close its workshop in Hungary by the end of 2010 and transfer operations over to Monster Sport Europe. So I have to say that Aaron Burkart has made a remarkable result in the final year of J-WRC history."

Burkart, who took the title after title rival Hans Weijs hit trouble with the finish in sight, added: “I am so happy and I’d like to thank all at Suzuki Sport Europe for helping me achieve the title. They did a perfect job and built me a new car in three days after I crashing during our test on the Monday before the start.”



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