Petter Solberg has decided not to re-start on Rally de Espana and instead will now focus all his efforts on the season ending, Wales Rally GB.
Solberg, who had set the pace in the shakedown on Thursday in his privately-run Citroen DS3 WRC car, went out on Friday in the very first stage when he ripped a wheel off. The Norwegian was caught out by the hanging dust, which severely affected visibility ub Pesells 1.
“There was so much dust it was impossible to see anything,” Solberg confirmed. “In a corner we hit a concrete-barrier and the wheel went off. It was not possible to continue.
“It is possible to repair the car and restart again, but we have decided to preserve the car and instead put everything into the final event of the year, Wales Rally GB.”
Fellow Citroen runner Kimi Raikkonen meanwhile also retired on Friday, stopping in SS3 with engine problems.
Ken Block was another notable casualty on the opening day, and like Solberg, he went out in the first test. However, unlike Petter and Raikkonen, he was able to re-start today in his Monster World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC car, albeit down in 46th position.