Better day for Subaru

Better day for SubaruFrom Subaru Press [ 02/09/2006 ].
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Chris Atkinson continues to lead the Subaru World Rally Team’s challenge after today’s second Leg of competition on Rally Japan. The 26-year-old Queenslander put in a strong performance on each of the day’s eleven stages and moved up the leaderboard from sixth to fourth place. After frustrations on Leg one, Petter Solberg’s car’s performance improved considerably and the Norwegian ended the day strongly by setting the second quickest time on the last two proper stages. Solberg holds seventh place overnight, ahead of the team’s third driver, Toshihiro Arai, who lies eighth.

Subaru World Rally Team managing director, Richard Taylor:

“We’ve taken encouragement today in Chris’ strong progress up the leaderboard to fourth position and the two second-quickest times that Petter has been able to set this afternoon. Toshi Arai has also driven well and continues to get experience of the Impreza World Rally Car. Of course we are still disappointed with the technical problems that the drivers have endured on the rally and we have much work to do to ensure our cars perform consistently well and enable us to be fully competitive.”

 

Chris Atkinson:

“It’s been a good day. We made up a couple of spots and now we’ve got a bit of a gap over Stohl, which is exactly what we wanted to do. We had a few scratches this morning when we took a few chances, but this afternoon I took it pretty easy. We took a good choice of tyres that was a pretty safe option and tomorrow we’ll judge the pace and drive accordingly.”

 

Petter Solberg:

“We’ve been able to split Marcus and Sebastien which is very pleasing, but on the other hand it’s been quite tough as we lost so much time previously. We’ve made quite a few changes to the car and it has improved a lot and we have been able to be competitive. Tomorrow I hope to catch Sordo, but I’m not thinking too much about that as I am driving for all the fans.”

 

Toshi Arai:

“I had a big moment today when I hit a very, very big rock and went off the road on SS16. We got back on the road and continued but after I found out that I hit a photographer, a friend of mine, Naoki Kobayashi. He was okay and even sent me a message to say good luck and continue! I hope to see him out on the stages again very soon!”