Petter Solberg holds second place on Rally Argentina tonight after a furious day of competition on the gravel roads of the Cordobese Sierras.
Solberg's Subaru Impreza WRC2005 ran faultlessly all day and enabled the Norwegian to set the fastest time on two of the Leg's special stages,
and smash the previous stage record time on the Carlos Paz - Cabalango test.
Subaru's new signing for 2005, Chris Atkinson had a successful and trouble-free day on his first-ever attempt at the Rally Argentina. Making encouraging progress throughout the ten stages, Chris ended the Leg by setting the seventh- fastest time on the final stage and beating several works-team drivers with far more experience. Chris will start tomorrow in ninth place overall.
"I'm pleased with our performance on the stages today. The Pirelli tyres and the car have been working well. In the afternoon, when the stages were rougher, we tried a slightly different set-up, which didn't turn out as good as that in the morning. This afternoon we also maybe lost some time with a harder tyre than the morning, but we know where to go, and what to do for tomorrow. We have not been taking any chances and we are not giving up on getting back on top again."
"Today was not bad for us and I am happy where we are. The roads were rougher than we hoped, but our pace has still been good. I had a bit of a moment in the last stage today when I took a 200kph jump on slightly the wrong line and landed in the gutter - I was a bit more cautious through the rest of that stage! There's still two long days to go and the stages are faster, and hopefully smoother. I want to stick with Duval and those other drivers who have much more experience."
David Lapworth, Team Principal
"Overall, I think we should be satisfied with our performance today. We always planned a cautious start, especially with the prospect of bad weather. In the end conditions on the stages weren't too bad and Petter stuck to the plan and ended the day in a strong position behind Sebastien with a clean run. Chris too had a good solid day. It was his first time here and he needed to get a feel for the stages. He's not put a foot wrong and is consistently setting encouraging times."
Leg two starts from Carlos Paz at 0652hrs. Featuring seven more stages and 114 competitive kilometres, Saturday's Leg takes crews to gravel roads in the Sierras around Santa Rosa de Calamuchita, 100km south of Carlos Paz.
Press release Subaru World Rally Team