Citroen privateer Petter Solberg has lost his third place finish on the Rallye de France Alsace.
Solberg had enjoyed a great event, however, a post-event check found his DS3 WRC car to be underweight and he was subsequently excluded. According to the official WRC site, the car was weighed three times following the event ending Power Stage and each time it was 1196 kg, four kilos under the minimum. Solberg's team has elected not to appeal.
“It's been fantastic this weekend,” said Solberg prior
to news of his exclusion. “I have enjoyed driving so much, the feeling when everything is perfect is just unbelievable. The car has been absolutely perfect all weekend, it's so quick!
“I am really happy about the third place, but I must admit that at the moment having the speed and fighting with the manufacturers is almost better. A big thank you to everyone in my team, and all my sponsors!”
Benoit Nogier, Citroen Racing Technologies director, meanwhile was bitterly disappointed to see 'his' man stripped of third.
“Petter is very disappointed as he drove brilliantly to score his third podium finish of the season. It's also a big disappointment for our team,” he added. “Obviously, we thought that our car's weight complied with the regulations. Our safety margin, identical to the one we apply all year, wasn't enough.”
Solberg's misfortune sees all the drivers' that finished behind him now bumped up a place. It is especially good news for Mikko Hirvonen, as the Ford Abu Dhabi WRT man goes from P4 to P3 and now draws level with Sebastien Loeb in the drivers' championship, both on 196 points.
“It's unfortunate to inherit a position due to a rival's misfortune, but at this stage of the season every point counts,” said Hirvonen. “We'll go to the next round in Spain as joint leaders of the championship and with just two rounds remaining, the fight for the title is truly wide open.
“I aim to be on top form in Spain and an exciting conclusion to the year is in prospect. I can't wait!”
To view the revised result - CLICK HERE