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Suspension problem costs Henning top-five

Stobart Ford's Henning Solberg was unable to add to his season points tally on the Neste Oil Rally Finland last weekend after suspension problems sidelined him in the first loop on day two.

The Norwegian struggled initially on the ninth round in the 2009 World Rally Championship and he was again less than happy with the set-up on his M-Sport-run Focus RS WRC car.

However with some minor changes made to it during Friday's midday service, Solberg found his rhythm on the second pass moving up to sixth place by the end of the leg, just 2.6 seconds behind Matti Rantanen.

He then made a good start to Saturday's action, setting the fifth fastest time in SS11 and overhauling the Finn for P5.

His hopes of getting another strong finish ended though in the next test, when he sustained damage to the front suspension at a slow hairpin corner. This resulted in the driveshaft coming loose, leaving the car with no drive and forcing him out.

Returning under the SupeRally on the final day, Henning posted the third best time on the opening stage of the morning and was then sixth in SS21 and SS22, before ending the event with a fifth best time in SS23.

He was eventually classified 30th, one spot behind former Stobart team-mate, Urmo Aava, who was competing in a Honda Civic Type-R R3, his only consolation being that he picked up the final manufacturer point.

"We came to this rally aiming for another top-five and things were looking good but unfortunately part of the suspension broke and we had to retire at the start of the second day," Solberg reflected.

"With our aim not possible I had to focus on getting more points for the Stobart team. We tried our best for this and on the final day our times were good; it was also useful to have that extra driving ahead of Rally Australia."



Related Pictures

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Henning Solberg (NOR) Cato Menkerud (NOR), Ford Focus RS WRC 08, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team
Henning Solberg (NOR) Cato Menkerud (NOR), Ford Focus RS WRC 08, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team
Henning Solberg (NOR) Cato Menkerud (NOR), Ford Focus RS WRC 08, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team
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Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Volkswagen
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Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC

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