Petter Solberg press release
Petter and Chris hold on to their fourth place.
A drama filled start to Wales Rally GB saw Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen damage his radiator and, therefore, his Championship hopes, on SS7 just before the lunchtime service. He had taken the rally lead on the previous stage but his time loss allowed Citroën’s Sebastien Loeb to move back out in front. Hirvonen had to stop on the road section following the stage and was forced to retire. The car is too badly damaged for him to rejoin the rally tomorrow. Citroën’s Sebastien Ogier started the day under SupeRally regulations after crashing out on yesterday evening’s three stages.
Petter and Chris started the morning in fourth position overall and managed to hold that position for the remainder of the day, despite a spin on SS4 and a front-right spring failure then a front left puncture on SS7. The repeated stages of the afternoon saw Petter and Chris start to close the gap to third place Mads Østberg as Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala in second, worked his way closer to leader Loeb. Latvala set fastest stage times on three of the four afternoon stages, with Petter and Chris second fastest on SS10 and third fastest on the final stage of the day, 21.34km Dyfnant.
- I am quite happy with the day, says Petter Solberg. - Even with a spin on the first stage, a puncture and a broken coil spring on SS7, we are doing good. There is a lot of mud on the stages and conditions are really tricky, but I enjoy it so much. All the spectators make a great atmosphere and you just have to appreciate it. The car works perfectly and I really enjoy driving it. There are still two more days to go and a lot can happen.
Wales Rally GB continues with six stages tomorrow. The first car will be on the road from 0924 local time.