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Solberg: We're going over the limit

Petter Solberg said he was pleased to secure his second podium finish of the WRC season in Sardinia, although the former champion admitted he had been forced to push 'over the limit' during his final day battle with Sebastien Loeb.

Solberg, who missed out on a podium in Argentina after running into problems on the final day, had looked set for a lonely fourth at the mid-way point of the Mediterranean event but Sebastien Loeb's puncture on SS11 suddenly gave the Norwegian the chance to fight for a place on the podium.

Having taken a slender lead over Loeb into day three, Solberg retained his position through the final morning although he was unable to keep the champion behind during the afternoon loop.

However, a two-minute penalty for Loeb allowed Solberg to secure third place for a second podium finish of the year for his privateer squad.

"It's been a good event," he said. "We have done a lot of good stages. In Argentina we missed third place. I'm quite happy now. It's too bad for Sebastien, but it's nice to be here.

"It was a good fight with Sebastien. When I woke up this morning, I was ready and it was good to be fighting again. We had good first two stages, then we had a problem with the steering after service. I fixed it after the first stage and then we were on the limit on the last two. There was nothing more we could do, it was great for Phil and me."

However, Solberg admitted that he had had to go 'over the limit' to try and keep Loeb behind and said it wasn't easy for him to into an event knowing that a podium was only possible if others ran into problems.

Indeed, with rumours suggesting he may look for alternatives to his Citroen Xsara for the remainder of the year, Solberg said there was currently 'no plan' for the next event on the calendar in Greece.

"I am realistic," he said. "I have a lot of good rallies now, but to go to a rally knowing you can fight for fourth or if you're lucky you can get third, it's not so easy. I am here to fight and push on. Today I enjoyed very much the fight with Sebastien, but it's over the limit, I could have ended in a tree; we were more off the road than on sometimes.

"I feel stuck in the corner. I have done a few rallies now and I know where I am. We are going to have this question, me and Phil and see what we can do for the next rally. It will be the same temperature on the next rally, we have to really think – I don't want to waste time. I'm having a lot of fun, but now we have to sit down and analyse. I know it's not possible to push harder in the warm temperatures. I still have a little bit to go. We have good fun and a lot of good results. I have no plan for the next rally."


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Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

May 26, 2009 5:22 PM

I would love to see Petter in a top car and I think he really deserves it too. I cant understand why Citroen cant provide the use of a C4 WRC with Parts support. Im certain the reason Ford dont give him a Stobart car is down to the situation that happened back at the end of 2000 when Petter deserted Ford mid 2 year contract and absconded to Subaru while still legally obliged to drive for Ford. I dont think Malcolm would ever take him back and im sure he now looks back and regrets his choice to leave Ford high and dry. I think Petter is one of the most talented WRC drivers and could probably challenge Seb and Jari Matti if he had a top car he would be winning rallies



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