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Petter Solberg: Good to be a little way up there.

Subaru team leader Petter Solberg came through to take fifth on the Rally RACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada last weekend following a tense final day scrap with Urmo Aava.

'Hollywood' finished day two just 1.4 seconds up on the Estonian in his PH Sport-run Citroen C4 WRC and while he slipped behind in SS16, the fight came to a premature end in the next test, when Urmo slid off the road mid-stage and broke his car's suspension.

Petter then had an easy run to the finish - and what was his seventh consecutive points result. Despite that achievement though, the Norwegian wasn't overly pleased, as he was nowhere near the pace of the front runners.

Indeed he finished 3.5 minutes off Sebastien Loeb in P1 - and around 2 minutes off the Ford Focus RS WRC08's of Mikko Hirvonen and Francois Duval in third and fourth.

"For sure it's been a tough rally for us," said the 2003 world champion, "but fifth place is fifth place and it's good to be a little way up there.

"The car actually felt a little better in the last two stages after I made some changes, so it's the right direction but we still have more to do. Now we have Corsica straight after to continue this work."

Chris Atkinson and Brice Tirabassi meanwhile were seventh and tenth in the sister cars, the former losing out to Jari-Matti Latvala late on - although only 1.1 seconds separated the two at the finish.

"For me I had a good weekend and personally I feel I drove well," Atkinson noted. "I'm happy with my performance and satisfied with my driving. We won't make any real changes for Corsica."

Tirabassi was similarly content on his first of two outings with the Subaru World Rally Team: "I am happy with this weekend as we have had good performance and also learnt a lot," he added. "I feel more comfortable with the car for Corsica, which is important, but as well as learning a lot this weekend we have also got a good result which I am pleased with. It has been a good weekend for me, and I hope we can continue to learn and get better next week."

Subaru team boss David Richards described the 5-7-10 result as 'solid' and he is hopeful they can improve on the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse this coming weekend: "It was a solid performance from all three of our drivers today. Now the key is to build and improve on this as we go to Corsica in only one week's time," he summed-up.


Related Pictures

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Petter Solberg (NOR) Philip Mills (GBR), Subaru Impreza WRC 2008, Subaru World Rally Team
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