SUBARU - Stage Summaries Leg1

16.02.2007: SUBARU - Stage Summaries Leg1

WRC RALLYES - Rally Norway, Leg One 16 February 2007
After leg one of Rally Norway, Petter is fourth, Chris ninth 
 

 

SS1: 0743hrs Loten 1 (30.03km)

After a ceremonial start in the centre of Hamar on Thursday evening, the real action began out in the snow-bound forests in the murky gloom of Friday morning. A light drizzle was falling near the end of the stage and visibility was poor. Petter was the ninth driver through the stage and set a time of 16m 33.03s.

He said: "It worked well and it was really good to see lots of Norwegian flags out there." Chris, starting fifth on the road, wasn’t particularly satisfied with his time of 16m 38.0s. "It felt ordinary. I just had to battle round," he said.

Fastest time: Mikko Hirvonen (Ford) 16m 14.1s

 

SS2: 0834hrs Haslemoen (11.92km)

From the opening test, the crews travelled eight kilometres south-east to an old military camp at Haslemoen. The compact route was much different to that of stage one, and featured several 90-degree corners and junctions. Petter came through the stage in a time of 8m 18.5s, which was sixth quickest, and established him in seventh position in the overall positions.

Chris’s 8m 26.5s effort placed him twelfth for the stage and meant he was ninth in the standings after the opening brace of tests. After Haslemoen, the crews returned to the Viking Ship in Hamar for the first service halt of the day.

Fastest time: Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) 8m 08.4s

 

SS3: 1124hrs Loten 2 (30.03km)

Fresh from service, and equipped with new studded tyres, crews made their way back to the start of the Loten test used earlier that morning. There was some frozen gravel showing through in places where the competing cars had cleared the snow on the road first time through, and that made the stage tough on the studs in the tyres.

Petter Solberg was the quicker of the two Subarus, bringing his Impreza WRC2006 through the 30km section in the eighth-fastest time, ten seconds ahead of team-mate Chris Atkinson, who was tenth.

Fastest time: Hirvonen (Ford) 16:09.9

 

SS4: 1230hrs Grue (14.37km)

Next the crews moved east to a short but fast and flowing test in the forests. The temperature dropped to minus two Celsius for this stage. Petter charged through the test in the fourth-fastest time of 7m 33.4s and, crucially, he closed on sixth-placed Gardemeister in the overall standings. "We are having a good morning," said Petter. "We are going very steadily so we can finish the rally and get some points."

Chris cleared the stage in 7m 50.2s and dropped one place overall from eighth to ninth position, behind Manfred Stohl. However with just 1.7s separating the drivers, the Australian, who reported traction problems during the stage, was still within striking distance of the points.

Fastest time: Loeb (Citroen) 7m 31.8s

 

SS5: 1352hrs Opaker (14.64km)

After a 15-minute Remote Service Zone near Kirkenaer, the drivers set off for a loop of four stages, starting with the Opaker test. The two Subaru World Rally Team drivers were evenly matched and were seventh and eighth fastest through the test. Petter set a time of 8m 09.6s and shaded Chris by exactly one second.

The Norwegian driver pulled further clear of sixth-placed Gardemeister and turned his attentions towards catching the man ahead of him, Gigi Galli. Chris was now 3.4s behind Stohl in ninth. .

Fastest time: Jari-Matti Latvala (Ford) 7m 59.8s

 

SS6: 1436hrs Kongsvinger (14.07km)

Petter continued his strong afternoon form, posting the fourth best time through the stage. He also moved up to fourth place in the overall positions, passing Galli. Subaru’s driver had fitted BFGoodrich tyres with 8mm studs at the Remote Service Zone and his choice suited the conditions. Petter reported feeling an impact through the steering during this stage, but his pace was unaffected.

Chris resumed his battle with Stohl and was eleventh quickest through the test, just 0.6s slower than his rival. The Australian also said he ran over a rock that had been dragged into the road by a car ahead of him, but escaped without any serious car damage.

Fastest time: Loeb (Citroen) 7m 31.8s

 

SS7: 1530hrs Finnskogen (21.29km)

SS7 was the most southerly stage of the opening day. When the action got underway in front of thousands of Norwegian rally fans, Petter didn’t disappoint his supporters, posting the third-quickest time through the test. It meant that with one short stage to run, he was fourth, 37.6s behind Loeb.

Chris was ninth fastest through the test and was in the same position in the overall standings. The stage was followed by a short light pod fitting zone for the crews, because dusk was fast approaching.

Fastest time: Loeb (Citroen) 12m 42.3s

 

SS8: 1633hrs Kirkenaer (6.75km)

A short spectator stage ended Friday’s action, and the fading light meant the crews had to use lamp pods on their cars. For both Petter and Chris, the target was to finish the day without any major problems, and both drivers achieved that aim.

Petter ended the day with fourth-fastest time through the test, which left him a secure fourth overall behind Hirvonen, Gronholm and Loeb. Chris was two seconds faster than Stohl through the stage, and was starting to chip away at the advantage the Austrian had established over him. After the test, the competing crews drove back to the Viking Ship in Hamar for the final service of the day.

Fastest time: Loeb (Citroen) 5m 48.9s


- Subaru -

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16.02.2007 / MaP

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