After Rally Ireland, Subaru Prepares For Wales Event
November 24, 2007
The Subaru World Rally Team having Petter Solberg and Phil Mills continued their solid pace to finish fifth at the Rally Ireland. In order not to spoil the streak, the
Solberg headed into the final four stages with one goal in mind. And that is to continue driving to a pace with which he was comfortable. Despite experiencing a punctured right rear tyre, Solberg had a trouble-free day. He ended the rally on a high by winning the final stage while fifth place.
Meanwhile, Chris Atkinson’s Subaru Impreza WRC2007 was withdrawn. The withdrawal was made after an internal engine problem was discovered. After analyzing the data overnight and inspecting the engine again, the team sponsored by the maker of Subaru steering rack the decision was made to retire as there was almost no possibility of the car reaching the end of the rally. Based on the Superally regulations the Australian still managed to collect two manufacturers’ championship points.
“Our results here have been disappointing however we have made some positive steps with chassis development for the future. Petter and Chris have scored manufacturers’ championship points keeping up a close competition for third overall as we head to Wales Rally GB,” said Subaru World Rally Team Managing Director, Richard Taylor.
“It’s been the most difficult rally I have ever done I think, but it’s been quite enjoyable. It’s been very special for Phil and me as you have to really work properly together as a team to get through this rally, and we have finished with no mistakes at all. The car is working better and we have had some good stage times, so it has been quite a good event for us. The result is not what we hoped, but we will now really, really work hard for Wales Rally GB,” noted Petter Solberg.
Didier Martin, BFGoodrich Rally Technician, has this to say: “This was our last tarmac rally with Subaru, and certainly the most difficult. We've re-cut so many tyres this weekend, and each time removed about 20kg of rubber from them. All drivers used the g-Force Profiler extra soft compound (a dry asphalt tyre), and the g-Force Profiler H, a rain tyre we didn't test before the event and on which Chris won SS14.”
“In summary of the sealed-surface season, the Subaru drivers have set some fastest times in Monte-Carlo, Germany and Ireland; three events we tackled with very soft compounds. The challenge was different in Spain and Corsica than here in Ireland with rough asphalt. With only one year together we didn't get the time to fully develop the partnership between the Impreza and the g-Force Profiler for the most demanding asphalt. Nevertheless, we were capable of fighting with Ford and Citroën this year on sealed surface, which is a positive point," Martin added.
WRC’s next stop will be in Wales, United Kingdom for the final round of the 2007 calendar. The event will run from November 30 through December 2. It will consist of highly-competitive series of gravel stages from the service park in Swansea to the Welsh mountains.
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