by Rob Wilkins.

Subaru team leader, Petter Solberg has had a pretty nightmarish start to the new season - and while his main rivals, Sebastien Loeb and Marcus Gronholm have shared the wins, 'Hollywood' has been left languishing down the pack with the Impreza WRC particularly uncompetitive on the last two events on asphalt in Spain and France.

Here speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio we caught up with the Norwegian ahead of next weekend's event in Argentina when the WRC will again be back on gravel, something that Solberg is clearly looking forward to. Indeed based on his form in Mexico, when he was battling for the win, before eventually finishing second best, he should be right back up there...

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Q:
Petter, you have just had two tough events on asphalt in Spain and Corsica, you must be looking forward to getting back onto gravel in Argentina next weekend, especially in light of your form in Mexico?

Petter Solberg:
Yeah, tough events I don't know... but a big challenge [laughs]. Back on gravel now though, that will be good because we have been very fast on all the other gravel events.

Q:
Going back to Spain and Corsica, the Impreza seemed to really lack the required pace to compete for a top five finish, let alone a podium or the win. What exactly was the problem?

PS:
I don't want to talk about it.

Q:
The year to date hasn't been ideal for you. You have 10 points on the board, while Sebastien Loeb leads currently and has 46. Is the drivers' title still a realistic possibility?

PS: [long pause] ...Well it is going to be very tough of course. But you know when there are so many rallies to go anything can happen. But he [Loeb] is a very strong guy and never has any big problems. But I have not given up.

Q:
How frustrating has it been to see Loeb and Gronholm take all the glory...

PS:
I am not delighted to be second ever and of course it is very, very tough. But like I say I will not give up and we just have to deal with this together with the team. We will come back, I am sure.

Q:
Going back to Mexico you had a good event there. You finished runner-up and were in contention to win. You must be hoping that will be a similar story in Argentina?

PS:
We will be in the [battle at the] top in Argentina that is for sure. We have shown that in every gravel rally it is good. So as long as there are no problems and I do not do any mistakes, I am sure we will be there.

Q:
You were testing recently in Sardinia, for that event and Argentina. Tell us about that...

PS:
I think we improved things there, but there is still more to come. We are working very hard to look at every single detail that can make everything better. That is why we have done a lot of good things.

Q:
What can we expect from yourself and Subaru in Argentina - and during the remainder of the season?

PS:
A win...

Q:
Confident?

PS:
Yeah.

Q:
Are there any events that stand out during the remainder of the season that you think will be particularly good for you and the SWRT?

PS:
The only rally I am not looking forward to is Germany.

Q:
What about Rally GB you have had good runs there in the past and won last year?

PS:
I did not... I don't say I won last year. I was second last year until Sebastien gave me the first place [after he deliberately picked up a penalty to avoid taking his second title on an event that claimed the life of Markko Martin's co-driver, Michael Park].

Q:
There was quite a bit of upheaval prior to the season with Mitsubishi and Skoda quitting, joining Peugeot and to an extent, officially at least, Citroen on the sidelines too. The sport though seems to have coped well with it and the new manufacturer 2 category has definitely helped. Is that how you would assess things?

PS:
I think it is good. Like very other sport there are private teams with factory backing - like Prodrive [with Subaru], like Kronos [with Citroen] and like M-Sport [with Ford]. There will be much more of that.

Q:
Daniel Sordo seems to have really made an impact thus far this season since stepping up from the Junior WRC. What have you made of his performances?

PS:
It is good - but of course that was on tarmac, so when it comes to gravel it could be different. But when on tarmac, he has done well and the package is also good... so yet to see in all the 16 rallies first.

Q:
In recent month's former Subaru sporting director, David Lapworth has taken a bit of a side step. How has that affected the team?

PS:
Well I think the team is coping well to get everything together. I think David is... well we miss him definitely - and they have to get everything together again.

Q:
Thanks Petter and I hope you have a good event in Argentina and can go for that win.

PS:
Yeah, I hope so to.