Henning Solberg has consolidated his fourth position in the World Rally Championship standings after a battling run to fifth place on the Rally Portugal.

The Norwegian driver found himself having to launch a fight back at the end of day one when persistent brake problems left him well down the order in ninth position.

However, a combination of consistent stage times and a high attrition rate for those ahead allowed him to move into contention before eventually grabbing fifth place on the penultimate stage.

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Now tied on points in fourth position with his brother Petter, Solberg was happy to stay out of trouble and complete a decent result for both himself and the Stobart team.

"I'm very pleased with this result, it give us more important points for the drivers' championship and also for the Stobart team. This rally wasn't easy as the stages are very tricky with differing sections and it's so hard to get a nice flow and rhythm in some of the stages.

"We tried to battle with him this morning but it was over before it had even begun. Our screen misted up badly and we had to stop for a while to let it clear; but the dust was also a lot worse on the last day, very patchy and inconsistent.

"Generally it was a good rally and we had a fantastic road position during the second day. We really used this to our advantage and put in some competitive times."

Fifth position did, however, come at the expense of Stobart team-mate Matthew Wilson, who was on course for a second consecutive top five finish when he slid off the road on SS17, rolled and then burnt out the clutch attempting to get going again.

Having consistently traded stage times with his more experienced team-mate, Wilson was desperately disappointed to see a good result go wanting just a few miles from the end of the rally.

"To finish the rally like this is a huge disappointment. We had put in a really encouraging performance this week and our times and consistency have improved a lot in the last two rallies so for this to happen is a big set back to my confidence.

"The brake pedal felt a bit soft at the start of the stage but then seemed to be ok. But going into a slow corner I couldn't brake enough. We slid off sideways, rolled over but managed to get back on the road. But the clutch had burnt out and after another kilometre we had no drive and that was our rally over."

Despite the mixed emotions, Stobart VK M-Sport have extended their advantage over their direct Manufacturer 2 rivals, Citroen Junior WRT, after they failed to score.

"It's a very disappointing way to end the rally for Matthew after such a strong performance all weekend," said team principal Malcolm Wilson. "He has demonstrated on the last two events that as well as driving faster he has also become more consistent and it's a real shame that he's had to retire just a few hundred metres from the end of the last main stage.

"Henning, however, has put in a very solid drive and has consolidated his position in the drivers' championship. He has done a great job on this difficult event and has again collected more points for the Stobart team."