Petter Solberg, Kimi Räikkönen and Peter Van Merksteijn Jr in the top 10
The three Citroën Racing Technologies Citroën DS3 WRCs driven by Petter Solberg, Kimi Räikkönen and Peter Van Merksteijn Jr all finished in the points in Rally Germany. Petter Solberg saw the flag in fifth place and scored an additional point in the Power Stage. Kimi Räikkönen equalled his best result of the season, sixth in Jordan. Peter van Merksteijn Jr came home ninth scoring his first points in the FIA World Rally Championship.
Petter Solberg was knocked out of the fight for victory in SS2 due to a wrong tyre choice when it was raining, and he found himself up against the Ford and Mini drivers. Despite four punctures, the Petter Solberg World Rally Team driver managed to hang on to fifth place till the very end. The Norwegian was third fastest in the Power Stage scoring an additional point, and is now only two behind the fourthplaced driver in the World Rally Championship.
“For the first tarmac rally of the season we had a new car,” said Solberg at the finish. “We went quicker and quicker as the stages unfolded. Being the best privateer and fighting in the middle of the works drivers gives me additional satisfaction. We lost a lot of time because of multiple punctures. I hope we’ll be back in the battle for victory in the next event.”
Kimi Räikkönen continued his series of finishes in the top 10 in his sixth rally with the Citroën DS3 WRC and saw the flag in sixth place. Despite a spin and then a slight off on the first day, the Finn installed himself in eighth place. After passing Henning Solberg during the second leg and taking advantage of Kris Meeke’s retirement near the end of the rally, he equaled his best result of the year.
“Overall, I made a lot of mistakes during the weekend,” said Kimi ruefully. “I feel I wasn’t quick enough due to these errors. It was a complicated rally. I learned a lot especially not to put the tyres just anywhere! Last year we could cross the pavements without problems. With the new tyres it’s not possible as our puncture in the Power Stage proved.”
Peter van Merksteijn Jr with his new co-driver Erwin Mombaerts made a cautious start to his first tarmac rally in the Citroën DS3 WRC, and ended the first day in a very encouraging eleventh spot. He was quick in the redoubtable Arena Panzerplatte stage – the longest in the rally – and moved up the time sheets during the second day breaking into the top 10. Today, the Dutchman defended his ninth place against fellow-countryman Dennis Kuipers and scored his first points in the WRC.
Peter van Merksteijn Jr : “I’m really happy to finish ninth. After all the problems I’ve had it’s a very good result. Erwin Mombaerts and I had to get on the same wavelength. I enjoyed myself a lot, especially in the military camp. I’m delighted to have scored points in the World Rally Championship. I’d like to thank the whole team for the work they’ve done to achieve this result.”