Acropolis : Subaru World Rally Team - Leg 1
After an excellent first day of the Acropolis Rally, Subaru's Petter Solberg lies well placed in second overall, 26 seconds off the lead, with two more days of the rally remaining. Driving an Impreza WRC2006 the Norwegian was the
closest rival to current leader Marcus Gronholm
and the pair pulled 35sec clear of current World Champion, Sebastien Loeb
who is third.
Chris Atkinson made a promising start in the second Subaru but a differential problem in the morning cost him several minutes and dropped him from sixth place to eighteenth. With his car back to full strength after the mid-point service Chris began a spirited recovery and set the fourth fastest stage time on the last test of the day.
“Today I felt the car and new Pirelli tyre were very good and gave me the chance of a good battle. The last three stages of the day were difficult to drive as we took an extra spare wheel for safety after the punctures this morning. That's Greece though and it is the same for everyone, but it made the car a bit more tricky to drive and not so good to attack. We're having a good fight out there and I'm looking ahead to try and get closer to Marcus.”
“This afternoon was much better than this morning but it took me a while to get used to the changes in setup we made this morning. I feel more confident in the car and that showed in finishing the last stage in fourth.
I think that tomorrow we can continue to move back up the leaderboard and maybe a top ten finish is still possible, but getting into the points will be hard.”
Luis Moya, Sporting Director
“We are happy with the performance of Petter Solberg today. We've been matching the speed and battling with both Marcus and Sebastien and that makes us confident we can achieve a good result. On the other hand Chris started and finished the day well with top five stage times, however the problem with his rear differential cost him three and a half minutes. Now we have to expect that as a result of his road position tomorrow, he can deliver some good times improving his overall result.”
Leg two starts at 0800hrs when competitors leave the Athens parc ferme and head west of the city for a loop of three more rough gravel stages. In the afternoon the loop will be repeated after a 30 minute service in Athens. At 134 competitive kilometres, Leg two is the longest of the rally and features the marathon 37km Kineta section, the longest individual stage of the event.
Press release Subaru World Rally Team