Subaru team leader, Petter Solberg has said that the Banbury-based outfit took a 'good step forward' on the final day of the Rally Catalunya.

Although Petter was unable to challenge for a place on the podium and eventually finished sixth overall - nearly 3 minutes off eventual winner, Sebastien Loeb and 25 seconds off OMV Kronos Citroen's Francois Duval, who took fifth, 'Hollywood' was encouraged by the changes made to his Impreza WRC car on day 3.

Indeed with the positions in the top ten solidified by day 3, Petter and his two team-mates, Chris Atkinson and Xavier Pons, who finished eighth and ninth, switched to focusing on next week's Rallye de France, adjusting the set-up of their cars for the event on the island of Corsica.

"I'm pleased. We experimented with a few things today and it seems to be working better again," Petter explained.

"This weekend we've ended up doing quite a bit of useful testing ahead of the next rally. I'm sure it will be even better in Corsica; we have some things in our pocket and I hope we can show some better performance there.

"Overall the weekend has been good, the team has been working well and we've taken a good step forward."

Subaru World Rally team managing director, Richard Taylor meanwhile echoed those thoughts, adding that all three of his drivers now feel more comfortable with the handling and balance of their cars.

"We've got all three drivers to the end of the rally in the top ten, however the results are not what we wanted or expected before the rally. We have however learnt more about the car on asphalt and expect to be able to show some further improvement in Corsica next week," he concluded.

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