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Henning: This just wasn`t my rally.

Henning Solberg failed to finish the Pioneer Rally Japan last weekend, after he slide into a ditch in the third stage on the final day and literally got stuck in the mud.

The Norwegian, who was running under the Munchi's Ford World Rally Team banner for the fifth time this year, had a slow start and early on he was battling to find the right set-up to suit his driving style on these all-new Japanese stages. Consequently he finished the first day down in ninth place.

With the set-up soften for day two though, he started to get in the groove and was even quickest in SS14, ending the first loop having moved up to seventh.

In the afternoon he continued to make progress and was actually running sixth when he picked up a puncture in SS17 after a heavy impact with a rut just 10 kilometres from the end of the test. After driving on the puncture for seven kilometres the car's rear left trailing arm broke forcing him out.

While he rejoined on day three under the SupeRally, he was unable to get his Focus RS WRC07 to the end and 12 kilometres into the 27.76 kilometre Sikot 1 stage he misjudged the braking point for a medium left and careered straight into a ditch. This time he was out for good.

"Everything felt wrong on Friday morning and I just couldn't drive the car at all. In service we changed a lot of things and made the car a lot softer and this helped a lot but we only did one stage in the afternoon because of Francois [Duval]'s accident so on Saturday I pushed hard to try and move up the leaderboard," he reflected.

"The conditions were very slippery and the problem was the mud which caused big ruts especially during the second pass of stages. After service on Saturday we made a few small changes and things were feeling good but stage 17 was just crazy with the ruts and I got a puncture about 10 kilometres from the end of the stage. Then with just three kilometres to go we broke the rear suspension and had to retire at the end of the stage.

"On the final day it was just so slippery. Where we went off I was braking maybe 100 metres before the corner and we just went straight on at a medium left hander and got bogged in the mud. This just hasn't been my rally."


Related Pictures

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Henning Solberg (N) Cato Menkerud (N) Ford Focus RS WRC 07
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Fabio Andolfi (ITA) Manuel Fenoli (ITA) HYUNDAI i20 R5, ACI TEAM ITALIA
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Valeriy Gorban (UKR)-Sergei Larens (EST) BMW‐Mini John Cooper Works, Eurolamp World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Essapeka Lappi (FIN) Janne Ferm (FIN), TOYOTA YARIS WRC, TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT

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