Steady Shakedown for Stobart team
All three Stobart VK M-Sport Ford crews completed shakedown this morning ahead of the first Rally Norway in the WRC. Conditions were mild compared to that of the final days in Sweden as temperatures rose as high as zero degrees for this morning's shakedown.
Weather reports were generally positive from drivers with a few complaining of loose and wet snow due to warmer than normal temperatures. Under-steer became a result of this and caught two of the top drivers out, including Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala.
Latvala came off the same bend as Xavier Pons, but unlike his fellow competitor, the Finn was able to make his way back onto the road with minimal damage to his Ford Focus RS WRC06. British driver Matthew Wilson finished shakedown in a positive mindset; happy with the car, conditions, and looking forward to beginning the rally.
Henning Solberg had a relaxed shakedown ahead of one of his biggest rallies to date. On the final run of the day one lucky Norwegian fan was given the opportunity to sit aside Solberg as a prize for a competition run in Norway which gathered over 5000 entries. It is a big week for the Norwegian who is taking it easy heading into tomorrow's opening leg.
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team Driver Matthew Wilson said:
"It was all good. The conditions are fine and we had a clean couple of passes through so no problems. Because Sweden was only a week ago the notes seem a lot better here so I quite looking forward to starting the rally."
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team Driver Jari-Matti Latvala said:
"It was a very slow corner, second maybe first gear and I just under-steered off a small bridge and was stuck. It took about five minutes and some help from spectators to get out but no real damage to the car so it's ok."
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team Driver Henning Solberg said:
"This rally is a dream come true and it's great to see how well it has been organised. I was very happy with my speed in Sweden and will try and do the same here. Its very difficult stages if you go off here it's like -- where is the car? There is that much snow and two-metre high snow banks which makes it very tricky. We will take it stage by stage and see how it goes."