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Petter: We can win in Japan.

Petter Solberg has upped the pressure on himself and the Subaru World Rally Team ahead of the squad's home event in Japan next week by predicting that he could win there.

'Hollywood' and Subaru haven't won now since 2004, and while the Norwegian has enjoyed a solid run since the new Impreza WRC2008 was introduced on the Acropolis back in June - scoring points on every event - the Banbury-based outfit has still been quite a way off the pace.

Subaru conducted two tests post-Corsica however, and it can only be assumed that they went extremely well, hence Petter's confidence going into the penultimate round in the World Rally Championship.

"Rally Japan is a special event for me and for Subaru, My message to the Subaru and WRC fans in Japan is this - please look forward to this rally!" he noted.

"We have been shifting our focus to gravel performance for Japan and GB and developing a setup that will get the best from the car in these conditions. Just like when I won Rally Japan in 2004, I will head to Japan thinking of nothing but a victory.

"Even though it's all new [as the events base has moved from Obihiro to Sapporo this year], the fact that I've been to Japan so many times before should be an advantage for me.

"Japan is my second home. The Japanese rally fans are so enthusiastic, and it is a very important rally for Subaru and for me, so I know the fans will be great at cheering us on!"

Subaru boss David Richards meanwhile is also pretty bullish and he knows the team needs to start making steps forward after several seasons in the doldrums.

"We come to Rally Japan this year with a new car and big expectations on what is effectively our 'home event'," he continued.

"The change of location for the rally may well prove to be a leveller between the front runners but it has always been an event that throws up surprises and there is every chance that both the drivers' and manufacturers' titles could be settled on this rally next week."


Related Pictures

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