Petter Solberg is looking forward to this week's Rallye Deutschland and following two 'full days' of testing recently will be hopeful he can get up to speed straight away on what is the first asphalt event of the season.
Solberg struggled on the previous event in Finland and while he still finished fifth in his privately entered Citroen DS3 WRC car, he was disappointed not to be on the pace of the top guys. The 2003 World Rally champion will be out to bounce back now in Trier and show he still has what it takes.
“Finally we are ready for an all asphalt event,” said the Norwegian. “We have had two full days of testing and managed to cover both vineyard-roads and the Baumholder area. I do hope we now have the info we need for fine-tuning the set up for the car.
“It was also important to get as many kilometres on tarmac as possible in the DS3, as this is the first time I've done it. Rally Germany will be great, and I look forward to starting!”
Benoit Nogier, Citroen Racing Technologies team manager, meanwhile was pleased with how testing went, and feels that 'his' trio of drivers' - Solberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Peter van Merksteijn Jr - will all benefit from the extra mileage.
“After between six and eight months without racing on tarmac, it was necessary to spend some days finding our marks,” Nogier explained. “Our three crews were able to test the setups decided by the works team in the heart of the vines and on the special roads in the military camp.
“The situation [with variable weather] was perfect to find our grip level in different conditions. We also worked on new tyres and their working windows. The drivers felt a bigger difference between the soft and hard rubber. Tyre choice will play a greater role than in the past. In all cases there's no room for error.
“Peter Solberg, Kimi Räikkönen and Peter Van Merksteijn Junior were very happy with the solutions and were able to fine-tune their setups.
“We hope that our preparation will be translated into good times in the stages,” he summed-up.