Subaru have confirmed that they have withdrawn Petter Solberg from leg 2 of the Rally Finland after he continued to struggle with severe handling problems in SS15.
Petter had similar problems on Friday in the opening loop, when the Impreza WRC was so bad he was reduced to tears. Although the team managed to fix things in service B after SS4 and he was then quicker, a thorough service before SS15 had no affect and 'Hollywood' was over a minute off the pace.
Speaking in service F, before the run through the 21.27 kilometre Leustu stage, Petter was not happy. “We set off optimistically this morning but unfortunately I am experiencing the same sort of feelings in the car that I had early in leg one,” he explained. “We will make changes and I hope we can make the car better like we managed to do yesterday. We will try our hardest and just see.”
SS15 though did not go well: “Nothing is better,” 'Hollywood' added at the end of that test. “The car is just not driveable. I feel so bad to complain but I can only say the truth.”
Subaru's managing director Richard Taylor meanwhile has confirmed that they will thoroughly examine the car now to try to get to the bottom of just what is wrong.
“We haven't been able to identify the problem that Petter has experienced with the car and there is little point in him continuing the event at this speed. The only sensible thing to do now is to retire the car from the leg and bring it back to service so we can begin a thorough analysis,” he summed-up.
It is not yet known if Petter will re-join the fold on Sunday under the SupeRally, no doubt that will depend on if the team can find the problem and then fix it.
For the record, Petter had been running eighth overall, prior to the team's decision to pull him out of the second leg.