Solberg wins first WRC event in Sardinia.

by Rob Wilkins

Subaru team leader Petter Solberg has won the Rally Italia Sardinia today [Sunday], dominating the event from the outset, and eventually taking the honours by 2 minutes 7.9 seconds.

'Hollywood' led from SS1, winning 13 of the 19 stages en-route to his third victory in as many events, following his triumphs in Japan and Wales.

"It's a fantastic feeling, but it's been really hard work all the way – Phil [Mills] was cheering as we crossed the finish line, but I was still too focused on the driving to take it all in! It's been a very good few rallies, let me tell you, and it's a great feeling to take another win here, the team have been working so hard, and I think we've proved that we're the best team on gravel now," he said.

"The event has been good fun to drive, I didn't feel I was pushing to the limit, but the tyres were good, the car worked well and when everything comes together like that it's much easier for me. Pirelli have been very good here, I must say, our tyre choices have been perfect all weekend and I want to thank them, the team and everyone at Subaru for a great job."

Championship leader, Sebastien Loeb took second and is now within touching distance of his maiden world title - 26 points in front of Solberg, with only three rounds to go, and therefore a maximum of 30 points available to score.

"Just after the first stage, I said to myself that it will be difficult to beat Petter Solberg here. I went faster in some places but he always kept his lead," explained Loeb. "When Marcus Gronholm had some problems, I thought it wasn't stupid to go for the second place. And that's what we've done, just before two events, which should be favourable to us. Actually, I won't hide that I would really like to win Corsica."

Carlos Sainz took third in the sister Xsara WRC, to strengthen Citroen's position in the manufacturers' championship. They are now 47 points in front of Ford.

"This event was very difficult for the engineers and the technicians as we were driving on new terrain. We had to quickly find the most appropriate settings. It was also very tricky for the drivers due to the very narrow stages and the rocks interspersing on the sides. Despite all that, the team has scored a fantastic result with two cars in the top three. On my side, I'm now lying third in the Drivers' Championship and I will try to defend this position," noted the Spaniard.

Andrea Navarra was fourth, in his Subaru Impreza WRC on his home event. His result was the best achieved by any privateer entry all season.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Petter Solberg celebrates his win with team boss, David Lapworth
Petter Solberg / Phil Mills - Subaru Impreza WRC04
Petter Solberg / Phil Mills - Subaru Impreza WRC04
Petter Solberg, James May, Top Gear [Credit: FIA World Rallycross]
Simone Tempestini (ITA) Matteo Charciossi (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Jan Kopecky / Pavel Dresler test the new Fabia R5 in Italy [Pic credit: Skoda]
Simone Tempestini (ITA) Mateo Chiarcossi (ITA), Subaru Impreza, WRC2 Production Cup winners
Simone Tempestini (ITA) Matteo Chiarcossi (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Simone Tempestini (ITA) Matteo Chiarcossi (ITA), Subaru Impreza
Gianluca Linari, Nicola Arena ( Subaru Impreza)
Petter Solberg. Rally Sweden Historic
Petter Solberg. Rally Sweden Historic
Petter Solberg and wife Pernilla celebrate their victory on Rally Sweden Historic
Henning Solberg, Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta WRC, #14)
Henning Solberg, Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta WRC, #14)
Henning Solberg, Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta WRC, #14)
Henning Solberg, Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta WRC, )
Petter Solberg named Norwegian motorsport personality of 2014

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.