Subaru Rally Team Hurt By Driver Error
Topics: Suabru, Petter Solberg
August 22, 2007
The first leg of Rally Germany was full of contrasting affairs for the Subaru team. The tricky track, the reliable mechanical auto parts, the changing weather condition, the remarkable speed, and the elusive podium finish.
Friday's route took crews north east of Trier into the Mosel vineyard region. Leg one consisted of six special stages, totaling to 128.6 competitive kilometers, Supersport reported. While many of the stages are unchanged from previous years, some sections have been re-surfaced, making grip levels unpredictable. Despite the reliability of the Subaru Radiator and all other rally parts, it was hard for the team to reach the utmost goal.
Subaru World Rally Team managing director Richard Taylor said: "It's been a day of mixed fortunes for our team. We're really pleased with the pace of all three cars on the asphalt, but the positions we hold at the end of the day don't truly reflect the performance and potential we've shown. Both Chris and Petter would have been comfortably in the top five, but they both paid heavily for small mistakes. After he went off on the second stage, Chris has done a great job this afternoon, running very strongly at the front of the field, and the fastest time on the last stage was well deserved.”
“Petter's day started extremely well, but the steering damage caused by the rock on SS4 dropped him to the lower end of the top-ten. Apart from a couple of spins and a faulty handbrake, Xevi has had a good day. Overall we can be pleased with the pace that we've shown. It's encouraging for the rest of the weekend," Taylor added.
"Our pace this morning was very good and the car was handling well. It is very good on asphalt; a completely different car. Unfortunately I came into a hairpin during SS5 and hit a rock with the inside wheel which damaged the steering. There was nothing we could do to fix it until we returned to service and it was very difficult to drive, so that meant we lost time in the last two stages which are the longest of the day,” explained Petter Solberg.
"The car felt good today. I'm building my confidence back up; at the start of the day I didn't feel 100 per cent right, but by the end it's a great feeling to finish the final stage fastest. We've had awesome pace today and for that reason being fastest doesn't come as a big surprise, it's just a shame that I made a mistake, and I'm sorry for the whole team. I really think we could have been fighting for a podium here. It's very encouraging for us and shows how quick we can be on asphalt,” said Chris Atkinson.
Xevi Pons has this to say: "Today was overall a good day as there were times when we really showed our pace. It was difficult day as it was my first competitive outing on asphalt with the team, and the stages here are tricky."
Despite only getting one of their three cars to the finish on the Rallye Deutschland, Taylor was still pleased with the event, reported Yahoo! Eurosport.
"We can certainly go on to the following three asphalt rallies confident that we can be very competitive there. It's a reflection of all the hard team-work that we've been doing over the last couple of months, and overall we can come away from this weekend with a positive feeling and look forward to the rest of the season," Taylor summed-up.
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