Improved performance from Subaru in Germany
- 20th August 2007, 8:36am
Petter Solberg finished sixth on Rally Germany today, claiming three points in the FIA championship for drivers and four in the manufacturers' contest. After a difficult start to the rally, Solberg ended the event in excellent form, and traded times with the quickest drivers on the day's five stages.
Chris Atkinson and Xevi Pons got off to great starts today, but later retired from the event; Pons with a broken engine, Atkinson with accident damage. Under Superally regulations, however, Atkinson was still classified in 15th place and collected one more manufacturers' point .
Subaru World Rally Team managing director Richard Taylor:
"Looking at this weekend as a whole, it has been a positive rally. The overall results don't reflect the improvements in the cars, but of course our stage times have been very encouraging. Chris put in some great performances including three stage wins. Today we have got the car right for Petter and he too has been able to produce good pace. Xevi had a strong weekend on his first asphalt rally with the Subaru World Rally Team, lying within his target of top eight overall, and it was unfortunate that he was unable to complete the event due to engine troubles. 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."
"I had a lot of fun today. The job that the guys did in service today. I mean, 11 minutes, gearbox and clutch; try to beat that! It's incredible. I just want to say thank you to all the team, it was just brilliant. We have seen that Chris has done really good stage times this weekend. Today we had a lot of good stage times, the car is working very well and it is very encouraging for the rest of the year."
"Yesterday was a great day and it meant a lot to me and the team to win those stages, so we went out today looking for more wins. The team are working so hard, so it is great to be able to deliver this performance, but unfortunately today I just pushed a little too hard. When you're in ninth place as we were, it's maybe better to take these risks and show what Subaru can do rather than settle into a steady pace. Overall we have shown the car to be quick on asphalt this weekend, so it is very encouraging for the remaining sealed surface events this year."
"I'm sorry we weren't able to complete the stages today because we had a good feeling in the car up to that point. Overall I think it's been a positive weekend for us. We have improved steadily every day, and the speed is good -- especially as this is our first asphalt rally with Subaru. I like the car a lot, and I'm certainly looking forward to the other asphalt rallies this year."
BFGoodrich representative Didier Martin: "Subaru was the only team to have nominated and used the full range of asphalt tyres on Rally Germany, from the g-Force Profiler 0+ (soft) to the g-Force profiler 2+ (hard). And with three stage wins from Chris on three different compounds we are pleased with the performance of the Subaru/BFGoodrich combination. The performance also confirms the team's progress on asphalt as seen on Rally Monte-Carlo. We have three days of testing planned in September and are looking forward to the forthcoming asphalt rallies in Spain, Corsica and Ireland."
The next event
The eleventh round of the 2007 World Rally Championship is Rally New Zealand, which starts in less that two weeks' time from the city of Hamilton. A classic drivers' rally, the stunning gravel roads in New Zealand are like rollercoasters that carve through the lush green countryside of the North Island. Subaru has enjoyed considerable success on the event, with Petter Solberg claiming a momentous victory there in 2004. Leg one begins on Friday 31 August.
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