Greece: Solberg's Subaru-Pirelli an optimum second after the first leg

Athens, 2 June 2006 - The first leg of the Rally of Greece/Acropolis is confirming Pirelli Competizioni's eve of event expectations, with the Subaru Impreza WRC06 of Petter Solberg in an excellent second place overall. On the razor-sharp stones north of Athens, where the Hellenic rally is being held, the new construction conceived by Pirelli for the P Zero XR is showing its notable resistance to impacts with knife-edge rocks, which have caused many punctures on the cars of the top drivers.

Mario Isola, Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, said, "The new P Zero XR construction is producing the results performance we expected, working very well on such punishing road surfaces as the Acropolis '06. It is, however, true that the punctures suffered by many drivers in both WRC and Group N cars have to be blamed on cuts and damage, especially to the sidewalls, caused by hitting those pointed rocks, strewn in such large number on the special stages of the Greek rally.
"Anyway, we are substantially pleased with how Solberg's rally is evolving, as we are with the impressive climb back up the field by Atkinson in the other works Subaru, after having been slowed this morning by a technical problem".

"I am fairly pleased with how the situation is evolving", commented Petter Solberg, who said he felt confident about tomorrow's leg of the rally. The Norwegian driver is 26.3" behind leader Gronholm (Ford) after seven of the event's 18 special stages.

The quality of the tyres taken to Greece by Pirelli is also showing through in Group N, where Pirelli Competizioni has two of its drivers in the first two places, held by Gabriel Pozzo in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo and Nasser Al-Attiyah driving a Subaru Impreza WRC who are competing on P Zeros supplied by Pirelli Competizioni.

Greece's Rally first leg classification, WRC 2006 Event nr. 08:
1. Gronholm (Ford) 1h19'45''7
2. Solberg (Subaru) +26''3
3. Loeb (Citron) +35''5
17. Atkinson (Subaru) +4'58''8
18. Pozzo (Mitsubishi) +8'47''9 (1. Gr. N)
19. Al-Attiyah (Subaru) +9'01''5 (2. Gr. N)

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