Petter Solberg has hailed his podium finish on the 2009 Rally Cyprus as 'unbelievable' after prevailing in a lengthy fight with factory Citroen driver Dani Sordo.
The former Subaru driver is competing in only his second event with the Citroen Xsara WRC, prepared his own assembled team, but after a steady start that had him down in sixth initially, he picked up the pace to win two stages and overhaul Sordo on the penultimate stage.
A massive confidence boost for the Norwegian, who had to scrape a deal together at the last minute following Subaru's sudden withdrawal from the championship, Solberg dedicated his podium finish to team for getting his car ready for the event in time.
“This is unbelievable! I cannot describe the feeling I had when I was standing on the podium today. I mean, third place with a private team in a private car!
“The guys in the team are so good, they have been working flat out to get the car ready for the rally, and of course during the rally. They all are amazing. And also a big thanks you to all my sponsors and Citroen. None of this would be possible without you!”
Solberg's podium is his first since finishing second on the 2008 Acropolis Rally, while it is also the first rostrum finish for the ageing Xsara since Francois Duval managed second on the 2007 Rally Deutschland.
Together with his sixth place finish in Norway, Solberg, who also received the 'Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally Award', moves up to fifth in the overall standings.