Day 3 in New Zealand started out as a thriller and ended with more excitement than the Petter Solberg World Rally Team wanted. The chase for a podium ended in an electricity pylon 5,5kms into the final stage, and Petter and Phil had no other choice than to retire. Both came uninjured
from the accident.
- I was really on the pace, going for a win, when this happened. We would have managed to get back on the road, if it only hasn't been for that pole. I'm sure we would have managed to finish in the top without that, says Petter Solberg. - To bad we didn't make it to the finish line, but we really had some good fun this weekend and today when I realised first place was in reach, I just had to go for it. Securing third were not an option.
Going in to the final day, Petter and Phil were 53 seconds behind Ogier, who were first on the road. After two stages they were only 16 seconds behind and going for a podium finish. But, on the final stage it all came to an end. But there was more drama this morning as Loeb went off and hit a three. He lost time, but managed to strike back. On the final stage, both Loeb and Ogier spun and Latvala could secure his first place.
Jari-Matti Latvala won Rally New Zealand, Sebastien Ogier ended second and Sebastien Loeb
third. Loeb is still leading the championship with 108p. Petter is now fifth in the championship with 53p.
Next event is Rally Portugal, 28 - 30 May 2010.