by Rob Wilkins
TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH PETTER SOLBERG: CLICK HERE
2003 World Rally champion, Petter Solberg
is looking forward to the second half of the season, which gets underway early next month, with the Rally Finland. Crash.net Radio
caught up with the Norwegian recently and he seemed quietly confident that the Subaru World Rally Team will do better...
Petter, we are halfway through the season now, the long summer break is coming to an end, are you looking forward to competing again?
Definitely, I have been waiting a long, long time and it is going to be a very interesting. The team have been working very, very hard and hopefully we can have a very surprising next half of the season.
We spoke to you earlier this year after the new Impreza had made its debut on the Rally Mexico. How has the car come on since then?
Well we have been struggling, there is no doubt about that. I think the team have really found out lots of good things with the car though of late and we just have to wait and see at the next rally. I am actually going to do two-days testing in Finland now on Thursday and Friday this week [July 19/20]. We will then have a few more answers about all the big jobs that the team have done through the summer break. We have tested already on tarmac and we have seen some very good improvements. There are still some more details to sort but it looks like they have found the biggest problem that has been in the car for a couple of years.
Can you pinpoint what that problem was?
No - I don't want to talk anything about that. It is better if you to talk to the team about that. Let's just hope we can start to fight again properly and win some rallies soon.
The last event was the Acropolis Rally of Greece and by all accounts it was a very positive event for you and Subaru - you were second at the end of day 1 and you eventually took third place.
It wasn't bad. However we did lose too much time with the broken damper. I think we could have easily taken second place [if it wasn't for that]. Obviously it was a better performance than the last gravel rally and since then we have found out a lot more. Hopefully the car should be much, much better now.
You mentioned testing a moment ago, have you been doing much during the summer break?