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Petter Solberg 'proud' to be on podium again

5 April 2010

Petter Solberg took his second podium finish in succession - and his third points' finish of the year on the Jordan Rally at the weekend, when he brought his privately entered Citroen C4 WRC car home in third place.

Solberg ran strongly throughout and was second overall going into the penultimate test on the opening day, when he slowed to get a better road position for day two. The Norwegian struggled a bit on day two, but still held onto fourth and was 15.5 seconds off third ahead of the final leg.

In the end he didn't have to fight for P3 on Saturday as Sebastien Ogier picked up two penalties and dropped out of contention. That left 'Hollywood' perfectly placed and he eventually finished more than 30 seconds up on Dani Sordo in fourth – and a similar amount off Jari-Matti Latvala in second.

"It feels good to be on the podium again, and I'm very pleased for both my team and my sponsors," Solberg said. "The rally went well and it was in just one stage [on Friday], both times, that I lost a lot of time.

"Every other stage was absolutely perfect. But I am happy to be third and I hope not to lose a lot of time on a long stage again. I had the perfect car, and I'm delighted to be able to be up there and fight for fastest times. My team and I are very proud and hopefully one day soon [we can win]... we will see. We are trying and it is good fun to be here."

Asked why he struggled in the 41.45 kilometre Jordan River test, Solberg explained that it was to do with the tyres and the temperatures.

"I didn't get the proper rhythm and I struggled. I lost a lot of time on day two - I was 16s behind Latvala this morning. The biggest difference is between the first and second cars [on the road], after that it's difficult. The tyres get warm and you try to gain time, but it's at the end of the stage [you can make it up] so you have to drive very sensibly with these tyres [and not over work them too soon]," he added. "This is what I learned on this rally and I took down all these details, so it doesn't happen again."

Solberg's co-driver, Phil Mills meanwhile pointed out that the result was all the more remarkable given they didn't have a proper pre-event test: "We are very much a private team and everything is cut to the minimum - a 40 minute test before this event. I'm sure it wasn't 40 minutes for other teams. That's how it is though. We have to make the best of what we've got. More than the best of what we have," he concluded.


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