Subaru's goal for the Acropolis Rally
The Subaru Impreza was competitive in Rally d'Italia Sardegna but the team lost time with many small problems throughout the Italian weekend.
As a result, both Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson finished outside of the top eight in
Sardinia. A situation that the Japanese team doesn't want to repeat in Greece, round eight of the World Championship.
Team Directors Luis Moya and Steve Farrell describe the challenge ahead of this Mediterranean event.
Luis Moya, Sporting Director
“This year the route includes a mixture of old and new roads. All of them are based around Athens and we expect that, in general, the event will be tough, although we'll have to wait until the recce to see just how rough the stages really are. The event is very demanding for drivers as ambient temperatures are high and it's important that crews are fit, which is why our drivers and co-drivers are going to a fitness training camp before the event.
“We've shown on other challenging rallies, such as Mexico and Argentina, that we can perform well. We got two podiums in difficult conditions on both these events as we found a good balance between durability and performance. In Sardinia too we demonstrated we could run at the top end of the field and were unfortunate not to finish higher than we did.
“Our goal now is to have an acceptable finish for both Petter and Chris. Petter could well finish in the top three, depending on how the event pans out. In Sardinia Chris followed the strategy, but a mistake on the last day dropped him down the order.
His aim for Greece is to have a rally without errors and finish in the top six."
Steve Farrell, Director of Engineering
“This is the second of two paired events where the same engine, chassis and transmission must be used. It's a tough event that has many potential hazards including rocks on the racing line and temperatures as high as 40ºC, so punctures, pierced sumps and engine cooling are just some of the things you've got to look out for.
“We tested in Greece before Sardinia and were pleased with the results. We picked roads that are similar to the conditions we expect so we could determine a representative set-up. This rally, however, is not just about set-up – the conditions are very demanding and you've got to have a car that's reliable and capable of an acceptable speed. Our reliability so far has been quite good though and if you look at Sardinia, we were very competitive the second time through the stages.
“Pirelli has a new version of the XR, which is a good tyre and should suit the conditions well. It's durable and designed to run in tough conditions so we hope the car and tyre package will work well together.”
Source Subaru World Rally Team