Petter: We`ve made some good steps.

Subaru's Petter Solberg will go into the Corona Rally Mexico boosted by a good pre-event test.

Petter has had a solid start to the 2008 season and has notched up nine points thus far, thanks to a fifth place finish at the Principality and a fourth more recently in Sweden.

Following round two in the championship the Norwegian went straight to Spain, where the Subaru WRT conducted a four-day gravel test. Petter ran for two and a half days, while team-mate Chris Atkinson took over for the remainder.

Both worked on developing a set-up for this weekend's event, in addition to testing Pirelli's new gravel tyre and working on suspension and damper components in what was the final test for the Impreza WRC2007 as emphasis now shifts to the new '08 car.

'Hollywood' was happy with the work done and reckons they definitely made some progress. Despite that though and his good form in Mexico - he has finished on the podium twice in the last two years, winning it in 2005 - he remains cautious.

"We go to Mexico knowing that we have won here in the past, but we don't approach it any differently to Monte or Sweden," he explained. "We made some good steps forward in the pre-event test, so we go to Mexico with a good set-up. We'll drive our own rally, push as hard as we can and see what happens.

"I hope we will be strong again here as it's good for everyone if we can be fighting at the front."

Subaru's operations director Paul Howarth meanwhile was also happy with the team's recent test. He is concerned though about tyre wear and thinks this could be a worry.

"We've gone well in Mexico in the past and the conditions suit both drivers and our cars. Recent tests with Pirelli's new Scorpion tyre have been positive, but have shown that tyre wear will be a real factor in what we consider to be an endurance event," he added.

"The stages will be a lot cleaner for the second passes and road position is important. You will lose time starting first on the road as for those further back there will be more grip as the surface becomes cleaner. The roads do get very abrasive though as the loose surface is swept away, and as grip increases, the tyres have to really work hard," he concluded.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Petter Solberg (NOR), Subaru WRT Impreza WRC 2007. Rallye Monte Carlo, 24-27th January 2008.
Petter Solberg (NOR) / Phil Mills (GBR), Subaru WRT Impreza WRC 2007. Rallye Monte Carlo, 24-27th January 2008.
Petter Solberg (NOR), Subaru WRT Impreza WRC 2007. Rallye Monte Carlo, 24-27th January 2008.
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