Mexico Rally 2006: Pirelli Leads the First Phase With Solberg's Surabu

Guanajuato, 3 March 2006 - After two special stages of the first leg, Petter Solberg's Subaru Impreza WRC on Pirelli tyres leads the Rally of Mexico, third round in the World Rally Championship. The Norwegian dominated both timed sections and has an eight second advantage over the Ford Focuses of Mikko Hirvonen and Marcus Gronholm, the latter winner of the first two rallies of the 2006 season but who is already 25 seconds behind the Subaru team leader. Just how competitive the P Zero are on the Subarus is also confirmed by the other Impreza WRC in fifth place, driven by Australian Chris Atkinson. Both of the Japanese manufacturer's drivers said they were satisfied with the Pirelli tyres on their respective cars, for which a new version called the K2Evo was also designed for the repetition of special stages (when the road surface is more "cleaner") and which will be exploited in the afternoon. Mario Isola, Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni said, "We are sure of the potential of the P Zero K2Evo, which should guarantee a further advantage to the Subarus of Solberg and Atkinson on the really demanding timed sections of the afternoon. However the P Zero on which we competed here last year have shown themselves to be extremely effective on the Impreza WRCs". The first leg of the Rally of Mexico will end at 19.47 local time (2.47 Saturday morning in Central Europe). Mexico Rally first leg classification after two SS, WRC 2006 Event nr. 03: 1. Solberg (Subaru) 30'13''7 2. Hirvonen (Ford) +8"1 3. Gronholm (Ford) +25''3 4. Loeb (Citron) +26''5 5. Atkinson (Subaru) +34''2 For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com