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Solberg battles to podium

Petter Solberg fights to a second place finish on Rally Japan
Despite being beaten to victory on the final day, Petter Solberg insisted he was reasonably happy with second place on Rally Japan – having battled illness throughout the latest round of the WRC season.

The privateer Citroen driver was hit by a fever in the run up to the event but made light of his illness to lead the event through the opening two days.

Day three saw the Norwegian embroiled in a three-way fight for victory with Mikko Hirvonen and Sebastien Ogier and while a broken track control arm meant he had to settle for second behind Ogier, Solberg refused to be too downbeat at the finish.

“Fighting with illness was maybe the hardest part,” he said. “It was very tough the day before shakedown and then at shakedown. I thought I would struggle to drive, but the Citroen doctor helped me and got some stuff for me which helped. It helped, but it was very, very difficult on the first day.

“It was a good battle. I had really good fun and it's been quite difficult to drive on the stages. I've been first on the road, but I had no problem with that – I enjoyed it. I was thinking to lose a bit of time, but I was full of confidence to beat him [Ogier], but on the second stage after six or seven kilometres, I touched something and a joint on the track control arm fell off. The wheel got completely free and loose. After that, I tried really hard to keep my position.

“I was sure the car would break down as there was nothing holding it. We are lucky to be here. I am a little bit disappointed not to fight to the finish and do it properly. Next time.”

Team boss Ken Rees admitted that the disappointment that was felt in missing victory was offset by the fact that Solberg had taken points out of Jari-Matti Latvala in the race for third in the standings.

“It's fantastic to get a podium when you consider how ill Petter was on Thursday night,” he said. “After leading for two days it's hard to accept the fact we're second especially as the team has worked so hard. But we've had to give in to a mechanical failure on the last few stages.

“[However] our goal is third in the championship and we took some points off Jari-Matti today so we have to be pleased."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Petter Solberg (NOR) Chris Patterson (GBR), Citroen C4 WRC, Petter Solberg Rallying
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Podium, Simone Tempestini (ITA) Giovanni Bernachinni (ITA), Citroen Ds3 R3 WRC3 Champions
Podium, Simone Tempestini (ITA) Giovanni Bernachinni (ITA), Citroen Ds3 R3 WRC3 Champions
Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team
Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team

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runnah - Unregistered

September 14, 2010 5:32 PM

This rally speaks volumes on petter's character. Most other drivers would have played it safe or even skipped it if they were that sick. Petter drove to the max and came away with second. He has done so much with so little it is amazing the he has done ao well this year. Not to mention that he has consistently beaten drivers who have the full support of manufacturers. He should be congratulated anf rewarded for his performance. A true icon of the sport.

Thorstein Klingenberg - Unregistered

September 14, 2010 6:20 PM

I fully agree with runnahs comment and add: Petter also manages these great results despite having a nickle & dime budget! A factory team would replace many of the "wear and tear"-parts, especially in the suspension, just to make sure. Petter doesn't have the budget to do that so they stripped the parts off the car, looked them over, decided they had a few more k's in them and put them back on. Ogier hit the same bank that Petter did, without breaking the lower track control arm bearing. Coincidence? Perhaps. Or maybe Ogier was running with brand new control arms that were able to take the abuse? The situation was the same in Germany. Petters clutch was badly worn but they decided to save the money and not replace it before the last few SS's. He managed to just make it to Parc Ferme, but then the clutch was gone and the team had to push the car back to the trailer. Not only does Petter drive like a star, he also does it on just a fraction of the cost of the factory teams. And his a



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