A Flying Finish for Subaru

A Flying Finish for SubaruFrom Subaru Press [ 26/10/2003 ].
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Capitalising on his talent in wet-weather conditions and the competitive performance of the Pirelli/Subaru combination, 555 Subaru driver Petter Solberg delivered an impressive performance at the wheel of his Impreza today. Setting a string of consistently good times, the Norwegian moved up five places in the overall standings to finish the event in fifth position and collect four points in both the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championships. He now lies just one point off the lead in the Drivers’ contest with one round remaining. His team-mate Tommi Mäkinen also had a good day and moved up three places to finish in the points.

David Lapworth, 555 Subaru World Rally Team Principal: “A fantastic finish which, in the circumstances, could not have been better. After the disappointment of Petter’s penalty on Friday, he has done a brilliant job and remains well in the frame for the title. It just shows that you can never give up. With our record in Wales, Petter has to be favourite now for the Drivers’ Championship. Tommi has also put in a good performance today and moved up three places to finish in the points. His stage win on SS19 shows his competitive performance in the Impreza in difficult conditions, and that bodes well ahead of GB.”

Petter Solberg: “I’m very, very happy with how things have turned out – and it’s been a long time since I’ve been so happy to finish in fifth place! Today, the plan has come together perfectly; it’s been incredible and has set up a fantastic finish in Wales. I’m now only one point behind in the Drivers’ Championship, and will be trying very, very hard on the final round in GB. It won’t be easy though, Sebastien is very good on gravel, Carlos is a clever guy and Richard will be hungry for success. It looks set to be a thriller, and that’s what we’re hoping for.”

Tommi Mäkinen: “I’m happy to come to the finish and score some more points. But, even with our tyre advantage, the conditions today have been some of the worst that I’ve ever seen on tarmac. The last round of the Championship is going to be very interesting and I hope that we can help Petter to achieve the best result possible.”

Fiore Brivio, Pirelli Tyres Rally Manager: “Today, the weather conditions have been very wet, as was forecast, and both Tommi and Petter selected to use the Pirelli PZero RE tyre for wet weather and cut it heavily in order to further increase it’s potential for water dispersal. We have been absolutely delighted with the performance of the tyres, and for Petter to move from overnight tenth position to fifth is amazing. We are now in a very strong Championship position, especially knowing that six of the last eight WRC GB Rally events have been won by the Subaru/Pirelli partnership.”