Sarrazin and Atkinson battle on

Sarrazin and Atkinson battle onFrom Subaru Press [ 12/08/2006 ].
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At the end of the second Leg of competition in Germany, Subaru’s Stephane Sarrazin holds eighth place overall and leads the Subaru World Rally Team’s challenge. The Frenchman moved up two places on the leaderboard during the day and set the third-fastest time on the Leg’s final special stage.Chris Atkinson made steady progress through the notoriously difficult Baumholder stages to end the day tenth overall. After an encouraging performance on Leg one, Petter Solberg’s Rallye Deutschland came to a premature end in the first stage today when an engine problem forced his retirement.

Subaru World Rally Team Sporting Director, Luis Moya

"After such a big effort to get Petter to the start, retirement today was frustrating both for him and the team. Overall though, the performance he showed in the car has been very encouraging and we have every reason to feel confident about his chances on the forthcoming gravel rallies. Stephane was more competitive today than on Leg one. A safe tyre choice on the second loop of stages undoubtedly cost him some time but he ended the day well by setting the third fastest time. Chris has been learning more in the tricky conditions.He’s come close to matching Stéphane’s times this afternoon, which is a good result considering the limited amount of testing he’s done."

  

Stephane Sarrazin

"Today has been better than yesterday.I’ve had a trouble-free run and I’m here with the car in one piece. This morning we made a mistake with the tyre - we thought it would be wet but it was dry.In those circumstances it was difficult to push as hard as we wanted.But in the afternoon we had a more suitable tyre, increased the pace and set better times."

  

Chris Atkinson

"Overall the day has been good.It’s a shame we gave away some time on the first stage, when we didn’t have such a good feeling in the car, but things improved steadily after that. The Baumholder stage was pretty tough, the surface was loose in places and it’s hard to judge the grip levels – especially on slicks.Skating along the road in fifth gear, centimetres from those Hinkelsteins is not ideal! But on the last stage out in the fields (SS14) we did a pretty good time. Tomorrow we’ll do what we can, I’m looking forward to the smoother roads of Leg three; they should suit us better."

  

Petter Solberg

"Things started well today, but without any warning, when we were flat out in sixth gear on SS9, the engine made some pretty bad noises, stopped and that was it. There are still some positives to take from this rally though. We have made some good improvements with the car and when we had the right tyre for the conditions we were quick. I think in general we have taken a good step forward over the summer.We’re planning for Finland now.It’s a rally that I like a lot and I think it will be a very interesting event this year."