Montecarlo Rally: Sarrazin Moving Up In The Subaru Impreza On Pirelli P Zero

Monte Carlo, 21 January 2006 - A good recovery by Frenchman Stphane Sarrazin to take a provisional fifth place driving a works Subaru Impreza is the top performance by a driver on Pirelli P Zero on the second leg of the Monte Carlo Rally, first round of the season in the World Rally Championship. He was in full attack mode almost throughout the day, but he damaged a wheel during the second special stage and that stopped him from further improving his place on the leader board during the subsequent six stages. Subaru's French standard bearer praised the torque and constant high level of yield of his Pirelli P Zero fitted to his Subaru Impreza WRC on a number of occasions, saying, "Without the front left wheel problem I could have been close to a podium position. The balance of the car was not ideal, but the new Impreza showed it has extraordinary potential. I am confident about the last leg; a place on the podium is not such a remote prospect". His team mate, Australian Chris Atkinson, who turned in an exceptional performance on the first leg, adopted a more cautious strategy, aiming at limiting his errors - often inevitable on stages so full of danger as this event and especially to get to know the Monte Carlo Rally's route, over which he is competing for the first time. I am fairly happy with sixth place after the second leg. Anyway, my objective now is to get into the points. The Pirelli Competizioni technicians really helped me a lot, providing just the right tyres for every special stage we did this morning". With the works Subaru team's leader Petter Solberg forced to retire with technical problems, Pirelli could also have aimed for a good placing with Gigi Galli and his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. But a broken gearbox on the second stage of the day forced the Italian out. Among the events worth noting of this second day of the Monte Carlo is Briton David Higgins' provisional podium in Group N at the wheel of a Pirelli P Zero -fitted Mitsubishi Lancer. Said Pirelli Competizioni Rally Manager Mario Isola, "I am very satisfied with the choice of tyres made during this second leg, considering that most of the special stages were often covered with ice and were, therefore, very slippery. The excellent work carried out is confirmed by the fastest time set by Sarrazin on one of the most difficult stages, which included the famous Col du Turini". Rally Monte Carlo 's second leg classification, WRC 2006 Event nr. 01:
  1. Gronholm (Ford) 2h36'10''2
  2. Gardemeister (Peugeot) +2'05''9
  3. Stohl (Peugeot) +2'08''8
  4. Loeb (Citron) +2'41''6
  5. Sarrazin (Subaru) +3'03''4
  6. Atkinson (Subaru) +4'42''8
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