Subaru team leader, Petter Solberg has been forced out of the Rally Argentina in the penultimate stage of the day, the 20.29 kilometre-run through Amboy-Santa Monica.

Petter had been running comfortably third overall post-SS16, 25 seconds up on Mikko Hirvonen, who was fourth and around 15 seconds off Marcus Gronholm, who heads the chasing pack, behind current leader, Sebastien Loeb.

Solberg stopped 11 kilometres into SS17 though after his car suffered a mechanical problem. Early reports suggest it may have been engine related. It is not yet known if he will rejoin the action on Sunday under the SupeRally and complete the event.

It is a shame as the Norwegian had been going well, setting top four stage times in ever single test. Speaking earlier in the day, in the mid-day service, prior to his exit, 'Hollywood' was happy with his Impreza WRC2007.

"Not bad! It's a good start, actually. It's worked very well except for a spin on the second stage this morning (SS11)," he told the Subaru WRT's official website. "Afterwards I had to stop and turn the car around and that cost me quite a lot of time.

"Apart from that we've had a good run, the last stage (SS14) was good but it's a mystery why we weren't quite so quick on the one before (SS13). I think the guys will have to have to analyse the data because from inside it felt extremely quick and I can't see how I could have driven it faster.

"I think the road position has something to do with it, in the wet weather the stages are breaking up quite a lot, which gives a big advantage for those up ahead."

Petter is the third major retirement, after Stobart Ford's Matthew Wilson and Munchi's Ford's Luis-Perez Companc went out in the first test of the day, SS10.

More to follow as we get it...

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