Stobart shine as Solberg fights back for good in Poland

Stobart shine as Solberg fights back for good in Poland

27.06.2009: All three Stobart VK M-Sport Ford drivers have moved into points-scoring positions after an excellent performance on the opening stages of day two at Rally Poland. Henning Solberg

 FIA World Rally Championship Rally Poland, 25-28 June 2009 after SS10

All three Stobart VK M-Sport Ford drivers have moved into points-scoring positions after an excellent performance on the opening stages of day two at Rally Poland.  Henning Solberg put yesterday’s problems behind him as he achieved his first target for day two, overhauling his brother Petter’s overnight lead.  Team mate Krzysztof Holowczyc enjoyed an impressive morning, moving up from his overnight position of ninth, while Matthew Wilson remains in an excellent seventh place despite a tricky morning.

Solberg had struggled with the set-up of his car yesterday morning, but further changes made by the Stobart team paid off for the Norwegian.  He lifted his game this morning, as he hunted down the Citroen Xsara of his brother, aiming to maintain familial advantage in the drivers’ championship.   On the final stage of the morning, the 30.09km Wydminy, he was nine seconds faster than Petter moving him ahead in the siblings’ battle.  But Solberg remains in fifth place overall after slipping behind the fast-charging Frenchman Sebastien Ogier on SS10.

Wilson, struggling with an uncomfortable back injury, could not match the pace of Ogier on the opening loop.  But the Briton has continued to post consistent times and remains in a strong position as he aims to put the pressure back on the cars ahead of him this afternoon.  Just behind Wilson in eighth place is local hero Holowczyc, who was spurred on by the vast home crowds on out the stages, as he moved into the points, outpacing Citroen Junior’s Conrad Rautenbach on the fast, sweeping roads of SS9 Gawliki. 

The field will return to the same three-stage loop this afternoon.  Times are again expected to be extremely fast with many drivers battling for position on the high-speed stages although the road surface is likely to be quite rutted, especially on SS11 Danowa.

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Matthew Wilson said:

“We didn’t have a very good morning.  The first stage was fine but after that we seemed to struggle a lot.  The middle stage this morning was very tricky.  It’s especially hard to judge the speed of the fast corners and that’s where we are losing out and I’m slowing down too much and losing time on the straight after the corner.  My back is hurting a bit when I brake hard, but it’s not too bad when I’m strapped in.  We are going to have to work hard this afternoon.”

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Henning Solberg said:

“I am very happy with the car and it’s working very well today.  There’s still a long way to go, but we are going in the right direction.  It was good to get ahead of Petter but now I have to get past Ogier. I’m driving fast but I still want to get fourth place so I need to go even harder.  I drove better on the second pass yesterday so I have to do that again today.”

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Krzysztof Holowczyc said:

“The car is perfect.  I spoke to Malcolm Wilson last night and he advised me to be more precise and less aggressive and it is working very well today.  I am really enjoying the fast stages, but I am a bit too slow in some of the technical parts.  The atmosphere is amazing. 

When you see all of the people on the last five kilometres of the last stage it is unbelievable.  I have never seen so many people before and I am really taking power from them.  When you see that it makes you push harder.”



Leaderboard after SS10

1. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen(FIN)                  Ford Focus RS          +1h42m33.2s

2. J-M Latvala/M Anttila (FIN)                  Ford Focus RS          +3.0s

3. D Sordo/M Marti (ESP)                        Citroën C4               +19.5s

4. S Ogier/J Ingrassia (FRA)                    Citroën C4               +1m21.6s

5. H Solberg/C Menkerud (NOR)              Ford Focus RS           +1m33.3s

6. P Solberg/P Mills (NOR)                       Citroën Xsara           +1m40.0s

7. M Wilson/S Martin (GB)                        Ford Focus RS           +2m43.5s

8. K Holowczyc/L Kurzeja (POL)             Ford Focus RS           +3m05.4s

9. C Rautenbach/D Barritt (ZIM)               Citroën C4               +3m51.9s

10. M Ostberg/J Andersson (NOR)            Subaru Impreza       +5m29.1s


- Glenn Patterson -  photos Stobart



27.06.2009 / MaP

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