Petter Solberg wins the Power Stage
Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson finished fourth in Rally Argentina, the sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. The Petter Solberg World Rally Team crew scored three points by winning the Power Stage for the first time this season. The second Citroën DS3 WRC prepared by Citroën Racing Technologies, and driven by Peter van Merksteijn Junior and Eddy Chevaillier failed to see the chequered flag.
Three weeks after being on the podium in Rally Italy, Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson arrived in Argentina with high hopes. In the first stage, the Norwegian driver took second place and was fighting at the front. On his second passage through Mina Clavero – Giulio Cesare, Solberg set his 400th quickest time in the FIA World Rally Championship, a feat that only around ten drivers have achieved.
In the final stage on Saturday, the 2003 world champion had to cope with defective power steering, which cots him over a minute.
This problem dropped Solberg back to fourth place and he then went pedal to the metal in the final leg. He set two quickest times including the Power Stage and the Norwegian finished the rally just outside the top three, only 32.6s behind the winner.
“I’m really delighted to finish the rally on a high note with a fastest time and the three points in the Power Stage,” summed up Solberg. “I knew that we had a chance of winning but Lady Luck didn’t smile on us. This event was incredibly difficult. Several drivers got caught out. We were able to fight our corner. The fifteen points we’ve scored are very important for our team.”
Peter van Merksteijn Junior and Eddy Chevaillier in their third rally in the Citroën DS3 WRC made a good start and were in the top ten during the opening morning. The Dutchman’s car then had a turbo problem in SS4 and van Merksteijn Junior stopped for good in SS5.
“We had a fairly difficult rally with reliability issues,” said Benoit Nogier, the Citroën Racing Technologies director. “We were very disappointed to see Peter van Merksteijn Junior retiring because of a technical problem. Petter Solberg again proved his talent. His victory in the Power Stage shows that he’s one of the quickest drivers in the championship, and that he never gives up. It’s very encouraging for the coming events.”