Bad luck stops the Subaru-Pirellis on the second leg of the Rally of Greece

Athens, 3 June 2006 - As everyone knows, the number 13 is synonymous with bad luck and that principle was fully respected today, before and during the last special stage - number 13 - of the second leg of the Rally of Greece/Acropolis, on which both the works Subaru Impreza WRCs competing with Pirelli tyres were knocked out.
On the public road transfer to stage 13, Petter Solberg damaged his front suspension and steering when he hit a rock in an attempt to avoid a car coming from the opposite direction. And Chris Atkinson came to a halt on stage 13 itself with broken steering. Both will re-start tomorrow under the Superally formula having incurred a five minute penalty to add to their time deficits, relegating the Subaru Impreza WRC06s supported by Pirelli Competizioni way down the field.

Before he was forced to stop with the front end of his car destroyed, Solberg was still up with the leaders in an optimum third place. Loeb's recovery on the morning's timed sections had cost the Norwegian his second position, but Solberg was confident - without knowing that the Citroen of the French champion went off on the last stage of the day, seriously damaging his car in a crash against a rock. After having lost a lot of time yesterday due to a broken differential, Atkinson was working his way up the field taking position after position and was just outside the top ten having set a series of excellent stage times. The Australian had warm praise for the new concept Pirelli P Zero XR after putting up that performance.

Mario Isola, Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, said this about this leg: "Right up until those final problems, the two works Subarus on Pirelli were doing really well. Atkinson was so incisive and he decided to make up the time he had lost yesterday, while Solberg was convinced he could take back second place from Loeb in the day's finale. But the truth of the matter turned out to be a lot different. The performance of the new P Zero XR of new concept - especially its construction - was such that we are pleased with our product. What happened in the final moments of the day is difficult to accept, but it is part of the unwritten law of any sport. We are, however, gratified by the good showing of the Group N cars on Pirelli P Zero without their anti-puncture 'mousse'. The Subaru Impreza driven by Al-Attiyah has dominated the scene and showed clear superiority from the point of view of the validity his tyres' structure and torque".

Rally of Greece/Acropolis after the second leg, WRC 2006 Event nr. 08:
1. Gronholm (Ford) 2h51'18''3
2. Loeb (Citron) +1'47''2
3. Sordo (Citron) +2'59''2
9. Solberg (Subaru) +6'16''9
14. Atkinson (Subaru) +12'10''9
19. Al-Attiyah (Subaru) +20'32''6 (1. Gr. N)

For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com
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