At the end of today's second Leg of competition on Rally Argentina, Petter Solberg holds third place overall. For much of the day Solberg was part of a breakaway group of three drivers involved in a thrilling scrap for the lead, but his ability to fight was affected by a brake problem
in the afternoon, and he was forced to drive more defensively on the last few stages.
Making his Rally Argentina debut, Chris Atkinson racked up another trouble-free day in his Subaru, meeting all of his development objectives and trading times with far more experienced drivers. Chris finished the day with a flourish by setting the third-fastest time on the last stage.
"This just wasn't my afternoon. On the first stage a rear caliper started to leak the brake fluid, probably when a big rock punctured it, and I had absolutely zero brakes for six kilometres. I managed to make some fixes after the stage, but I only had two or three brakes for the next stages. It was a big bit of bad luck. The stage conditions were very tricky, being so muddy, and I was off the road a couple of times. I think Sebastien may be too far away to catch tomorrow, however I'm definitely not happy with third and up at El Condor anything could happen as those stages are very difficult."
"On the whole today was pretty good. I made a few small set-up changes after the midday break and they were going in the right direction. There was so much water and mud on the road - I think everyone was off the road at various times as it was so slippery. I remember we were going backwards while flat out in first gear at one point! I'm pleased that we were able to set good times and get so close to the top of the timesheets, especially against some of the big names. Tomorrow, I'll keep doing what I'm doing and hope that it is enough to make up a place and get in the points."
David Lapworth, Team Principal
"It's been a frustrating day for Petter. One step forward and two steps back. He started the day with a fastest stage time and then lost time with bent suspension and then this afternoon his brake problems started almost before he got into the rhythm of the first stage. Petter is not settling just for a podium position and I think we will take the fight to Marcus tomorrow. Chris meanwhile has had another good day. His times been improving, his understanding of the car is getting better and he has put in a very solid drive."
The third and final Leg of Rally Argentina starts from Carlos Paz at 0707hrs. Featuring five more stages and only 64 competitive kilometres, Sunday's route takes crews east of the service park and into the Atlas Cumbras (high hills) of Cordoba Province.
Of particular note is the El Condor to Copina test, which, at 2.500 metres above sea level, is one of the highest in the WRC. The barren, rock-strewn landscape makes it one of the most spectacular of the year too. After two more circuits of the Pro-racing Superspecial, the winning car will cross the finishing ramp at 1325hrs.
Press release Subaru World Rally Team