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Encouraging start for Solberg and Sarrazin
Tour de Corse : Subaru World Rally Team
The Subaru World Rally Team had an encouraging start to the 49th Tour de Corse, with Petter Solberg lying fourth overall at the end of the day just over 12secs ahead of team mate Stéphane Sarrazin, who finished Leg one of his home
event in fifth.
Petter had a trouble-free run and was pleased with the balance and set-up of his Subaru Impreza WRC2005, while Stéphane set some excellent split times throughout the day. The Frenchman finished in the top ten on every stage, recording the third fastest time through the final pass of the day.
Chris Atkinson's encouraging start to the rally was cut short by a mechanical problem. The Australian retired from the Leg but will restart Leg two under Superally regulations.

Petter Solberg
“Today has been a good start and I'm very happy. We've had no problems at all and have made the right set-up and tyre choices. I'd say that in general everything about the car has improved since the last asphalt event in Germany. It feels much, much better. Still we have more work to do, but we have a good direction now and we're posting some good times. For now, the podium is my goal and we'll be aiming to push a bit harder tomorrow.”

Stéphane Sarrazin
“In general it's been a good day and things have improved steadily as we have gone along. The engineers did a good job at the midday service; they altered the set-up to better cope with the bumpy roads, and it was not such a problem in the afternoon. However, I still think there is more performance to come, both from me as a driver and the car set-up too. Tomorrow we will be looking to get more grip from the car, as well as a more comfortable driving rhythm for me.”

Chris Atkinson
“The first stage (SS1) was fine, no problems at all, and I was happy with my performance on my first Corsican stage. But when we stopped on the road section after the stage end control we just lost the drive completely. There was absolutely no warning, and although Glenn and I did our best, together with the engineers back in Ajaccio, we eventually ran out of time. Of course it's a real shame to finish the day like this but it's some consolation that we can get back out there again tomorrow.”
David Lapworth, Team Principal
“Both Petter and Stéphane have made a good start to this rally. Both have stayed out of trouble and their cars have run faultlessly. The feedback from both drivers is encouraging. Before this rally I felt that both Petter and Stéphane could get a podium finish, and there's every reason to believe this is still the case. Chris came here to learn, and it's a shame he wasn't able to get more stage mileage under his belt before his day was brought to an end. At least he can be out there again tomorrow and get more valuable asphalt experience.”
Cars leave Ajaccio parc fermé from 0830hrs for a 10 minute service before travelling north east for two twisty, mountainous stages, which will be repeated in the afternoon after a second service. The second Leg of the Tour de Corse comprises just under 125 competitive kilometres and the longest stage of the entire rally, the Vico-Col de Sarzoggiu pass at 36.24km.
Press release Subaru World Rally Team


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