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Henning: Fifth spot not bad.

Stobart Ford's Henning Solberg had thought a podium might be possible on the Rally Finland last weekend, but in the end the Norwegian had to settle for a solid fifth place.

Henning took a while to get in the groove after no testing during the six-week summer break and he ended SS2 in tenth. However as the opening leg progressed so his confidence and speed grew and in the third stage of the first loop he posted a fourth fastest time.

After that he wasn't out of the top five and while he did have problems with the set-up of his rear suspension due to heavy landings on both passes of the Surkee stage, he was on a charge, and ended the opening day in third, 3.1 seconds up on his team-mate, Gigi Galli.

Saturday though, did not work out as he had hoped and he was unable to find a good rhythm on the narrower sections, slipping behind Chris Atkinson and Dani Sordo and ending day 2 almost 30 seconds off the battle for third.

On the last day he came under a bit of pressure from his brother Petter Solberg, but with only three tests his sibling was always going to struggle to get ahead and Henning eventually took P5 by 6.4 seconds.

"We started the rally off really well and it was good to be on the podium after the first day," he reflected. "The car was working well and it was a fine performance as we had no pre-event testing so I had showed a fast pace right from the start.

"But we lost the feeling on day 2 and had to settle for fifth position which isn't too bad and at least it's some more points; moving me up to seventh in the championship. We got new Expert race suits for this rally so we may not have been the fastest crew but we were definitely the best looking!"

Gigi Galli meanwhile didn't finish in the other Stobart car nominated to score manufacturers' points after going off on day 2 in SS16. The Italian, who had been running third, was gutted to have rolled his Focus, especially as he was 7.4 seconds up on his closest challenger.

"It has been a bitterly disappointing end to the rally here for me. I was just trying to keep our position against Sordo and the accident happened on a tricky left hand corner," he explained. "My pace notes were slightly out and I ended up sliding into the ditch which then caused the car to roll at high speed into the trees.

"The car is quite badly damaged and it was obviously a corner that caught out people as two other cars went off in the same place as me. We had got into a good rhythm and found a sensible speed and feeling with the car so I don't think I was pushing too hard on the stage."


Related Pictures

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