Citroen privateer Petter Solberg
endured a frustrating Rally de Portugal last weekend and in the end he missed out on a podium finish for the second event in succession.
Solberg had been battling at the front throughout the three-day event, the sixth round in the 2010 World Rally championship, however, it all started to go wrong for the Norweigan on Saturday afternoon.
Up until SS12, the 25.23 kilometre Vascao 2 test, 'Hollywood' was only 0.9 seconds off eventual runner-up Sebastien Loeb, but then in the next test a tyre delaminated and he slipped back.
Going into the final leg, Solberg was third - 31.1 seconds off Loeb and 13.5 seconds up on Dani Sordo in fourth.
'Hollywood' suffered more misfortune on Sunday though, and a steering problem in the first loop dropped him down to fourth. He then made a mistake in the short 2.03 km Estádio Algarve super special, when he hit a barrier and lost 10-15 seconds. That dropped him to fifth, 3.7 seconds behind Mikko Hirvonen.
"Before the two final stages on Saturday everything was perfect," Solberg said. "I was just seconds adrift of Loeb and the tyres were not so bad. But on SS12 one tyre just delaminated and then I had to push a little less to make sure we could make through the rest of the [second] day.
"At the moment I'm really disappointed [to only finish in fifth]. I was really hoping for a better result this weekend. But we had too many tyre-problems and with the steering-issue this morning I just lost too much time. In addition we had that incident inside the stadium, which also cost us a few seconds.
"But [looking on the bright side] we have been on the same pace as the other drivers, so in general we are satisfied with the result.
"We will go home now and start preparing for the tarmac in Bulgaria, which will be an interesting rally – the Citroen
C4 WRC is a perfect car on tarmac," he summed-up.