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Solberg stars but just misses points.

While most of the headlines on the final day of a dramatic Rally New Zealand centred around the leading drivers, it must not be forgotten that the most decorated person to come out of event was in fact Henning Solberg.

Although he didn't win, claim a podium, or even score a point, Solberg's seven stage wins 18 meant his name was the most prolific at the top of the timesheets.

Furthermore, all of those stage wins came on day two and three after Solberg lost several minutes on the first three stages of the event after suffering power steering problems. Dropping him to 45th position, Solberg embarked on an immense comeback to just miss out on the points in ninth place.

Although he was undoubtedly helped by his advantageous road position, his dominant effort was still a fine achievement, not least because it also gave the Munchi's team a valuable additional point.

“We have made some good steps this rally and I will take a lot away from it. After our problems on Friday I got this opportunity to drive at my own pace and it allowed me to try new things and set some great times along the way.

“We threw away last year's notes and made new ones for this rally and I think this also helped a lot. It was great to set seven fastest stage times and also to finish ninth which meant we could score a point for the Munchi's team and help them in the championship.”

All in all a good rally for the small Argentine team after Federico Villagra drove steadily to claim a single point for himself in eighth, as well as a pair of points for Munchi's as well.

“I am very happy to be here at the finish with both drivers' and manufacturers' points. It was our goal to finish in the top-eight on this event and that is exactly what we have achieved so I am very pleased with this. It has been a tough rally and we have had some small problems with the brakes but it is great to finish with no real problems all weekend.

“We are improving our pace on each event and learning more every rally and this event has been a good step forward. I am looking forward to the next rally in Spain as we will be testing before it and hopefully this will help me as my experience on Tarmac is limited.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Henning Solberg (N) Cato Menkerud (N) Ford Focus RS WRC 07
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Eric Camilli (FRA) Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Eric Camilli (FRA) Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Eric Camilli (FRA) Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC

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Demetri - Unregistered

September 02, 2008 8:56 AM

It was a shame Henning had mechanical problems on day one, as on stge wins it was his strongest performance to date, even if he had a better road postion than the leaders, and who knows, with the final day dramas, had he been in the thick of the battle a maiden win could have been on the cards...

Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

September 02, 2008 9:14 AM

Sadly Demetri the reason that he was so fast is that the road had been almost completely swept clear of loose gravel, He was running about 20th on the road so he had substancially more grip due to all the time he lost, I would love to see Henning win but at least this will boost his confidence, there is something very special about taking so many stage wins on a Rally, I remember in 99 I lost almost 4 minutes in France with an off, then set fastest times on nearly all the remaining stages to get back to 3rd, that Rally is one of my fondest memories because of my feeling of dominance. Im sure this will boost his confidence on the remaining Rallies that are coming up.



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