Daniel Carlsson and his P Zero-Shod Mitsubishi on the Podium in Sweden

Karlstad, 5 February 2006 - Daniel Carlsson and his Mitsubishi offered Pirelli its first podium finish of the season after a tough battle with his team mate, Gigi Galli. The Swede and the Italian exchanged third place no fewer than eight times in three legs until two special stages from the end, when Carlsson was able to take third and keep it. Galli has the satisfaction of knowing he set the fastest time on a stage and demonstrated once again all his ability in a rally he certainly did not know as well as Carlsson. Galli showed he is as effective in Sweden as he was in January at the Monte Carlo, and said he was very happy with his P Zero tyres, supplied to him by Pirelli Competizioni. As Galli's co-driver, Giovanni Bernacchini, observed, "We had a tremendous battle with Carlsson, stupendous from the sporting point of view and I hope the overall result achieved by the Mitsubishi Lancers can be useful with a view to subsequent rallies. The Pirelli P Zeros with the latest generation of studs were an extremely useful weapon and enabled us to put up notable performances, especially on the compacted ice of the Saturday leg". Things did not go at all well for the man who was the favourite on the eve of the rally, Petter Solberg, the winner in Sweden a year ago. After having been relegated to the lower end of the classification from the first leg on Friday due to a broken drive shaft on his Pirelli-fitted Subaru Impreza WRC, the 2003 Norwegian immediately began to fight back. Regardless, other mechanical problems on the second leg definitively blotted out any hope of him scoring a useful result, before his engine - it cut out at the start of the penultimate special stage - forced officials to exclude him. His team mate, Australian Chris Atkinson, was also slowed in the early stages by an off road excursion and seized power steering, but he was able to climb back up into the top 10 from 32nd place and so earned 3 points useful to the Subaru-Pirelli team in the constructors' championship. Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, Mario Isola, commented on the results of the Swedish round in the World Rally Championship, outlining a positive outcome, all things considered. He said, "In substance, we are satisfied with the performance of our P Zeros, which came up to our pre-rally expectations in the best possible way. Certainly, misfortune stood in the way of the works Subarus and took from us the bulk of our winning capability. However, the best confirmation of Pirelli tyres' qualities in Sweden comes from the performance of the Carlsson and Galli Mitsubishis, which were decidedly fast and effective on all surfaces, exploiting the P Zero and their new, shorter studs to the full". The next round in the World Rally Championship will be the Rally of Mexico (Lon, 3-5 March 2006). Swedish Rally's final classification, WRC 2006 Event nr. 02: 1. Gronholm (Ford) 3h09'01''9 2. Loeb (Citron) + 30''9 3. Carlsson (Mitsubishi) +2'56''8 4. Galli (Mitsubishi) +3'03''8 For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit:  www.pirellicompetizioni.com