Gigi Galli looks poised to give the Stobart Ford team its first podium finish of the year on the Uddeholm Swedish Rally.

Galli enjoyed a faultless drive on the second leg of the Karlstad-based event and after Henning Solberg went out in SS11 in the sister Stobart car nominated to score manufacturers' points, the Italian is now comfortably on course to take the final spot on the rostrum, over a minute up on Petter Solberg, who is in fourth.

Gigi managed to set top seven times in every single stage - including one fifth fastest time and three sixths - and considering this is only his second outing with the Focus RC WRC07, it was a good showing.

"We are very pleased with the speed here," he reflected. "After Henning went off things changed and we tried to just keep our position. Malcolm [Wilson] advised me to keep the pace under control and to keep the position.

"It is important for us to keep this position on the podium so there will be three Fords on the podium tomorrow. The car feels really good and is comfortable in the stages. It is good to come back with the speed on snow after being away for such a long break."

Henning meanwhile was bitterly disappointed with his off on his 'home' event and conceded it was his fault. He will hopefully re-join the action on day 3 under the SupeRally and providing he finishes will secure an additional two manufacturers' points for the team.

"I am very disappointed with what has happened today we just made a small mistake and got caught out on the exit of a fast corner," he added.

"I know the Stobart mechanics will work hard tonight to repair the car for tomorrow and hopefully we can still collect some points. This was the event that I needed to try hard on and it's a shame this has happened especially for all the Norwegian fans who have come to watch."



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