Solberg and Atkinson aiming for another points haul
The Subaru World Rally Team heads to Sweden with the same brace of Impreza WRCs that started Rallye Monte Carlo. Petter Solberg/Phil Mills will drive car number seven, while Chris Atkinson/Glenn Macneall will be in car
Solberg has contested the Swedish Rally eight times and won here in 2005. Atkinson has fond memories of the event, because he started his career with the team on the Swedish Rally in 2005. His best finish on the snow is 11th place, achieved last year.
“It's great to be back on snow again for the next two rallies. Last year we did not have much luck in Sweden, but the year before I won here, so I have some good memories. It was good for the team to have both cars in the points in Monte Carlo last month. I think we can do the same on this rally, but we will have to wait and see exactly what result we are capable of, because there are a lot of good drivers out there. The car is improving all the time, but I will know a lot more after I drive the car during our pre-event test this weekend.”
“Despite the great result on Rallye Monte Carlo, I'm keeping my expectations quite cautious ahead of the two snow rallies. We aimed for top six in Monte Carlo and things went our way, so we're aiming for the top five or six for these next two events in Sweden and Norway.
If we come away with some more points, I'll be happy. In 2005 Sweden was my first ever rally with the Subaru World Rally Team and I've got fond memories. It's such a fun event.”
Richard Taylor, Subaru WRT Managing Director
“We're looking for a good performance in Sweden, but it is going to be very competitive. We have to bear in mind that we are still using our 2006 car, so two cars in the top six would be a good performance for us. For Petter the snow is familiar territory and he'll be used to the conditions. Chris has not done as many events on snow, but his drive in Monte Carlo was very strong indeed and we're confident he can carry that form forward to Sweden.”
“The strong result in Monte Carlo created a good feeling in the team and it's fair to say that we've made a big step forward both technically and in terms of the organisation of the team since the end of 2006. Obviously what we achieved in Monte Carlo is a base to build on, rather than the level we need to be at, but there's a clear direction and a very positive mindset within the team.”
Paul Howarth, Subaru WRT Operations Director
“There's a very strong entry list for Sweden, including lots of quick local drivers, and it's going to be a tough event. We're testing in Sweden this weekend and after that we'll have a better idea of the pace we can run at. Although most of the stages are the same as last year, there are several unknowns. We still don't know exactly what the conditions will be like for the rally.”
“There's been some snow recently, but a warm front is scheduled to come in this weekend and that could cause a few upsets. Snow rallies are not usually very demanding on the machinery, but Sweden and Norway are paired events, so we have to use the same engine for both and we're also limited to four sets of transmissions. With just a few days between the end of Sweden and the start of Rally Norway, we have done quite a lot of preparation and maintenance at our base before the events.”
Subaru World Rally Team