Petter Solberg comes second in Australia


Nine of the rally's special stages won by the factory Pirelli-shod Imprezas.
Atkinson climbs back up to tenth overall. Ligato unlucky: KO in the finale.

Perth (Aus), 29 October 2006 - The second place scored by the Subaru Impreza WRC06 on Pirelli P Zero tyres driven by Petter Solberg in the Rally of Australia crowned an event in which the Japanese saloons entered by the Subaru World Rally Team showed they had clearly recovered their competitiveness and performance. The team had not taken a podium since the Argentina's Rally in May: and in Australia, Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson, who came 10th in the end after going off the road unluckily on Friday when he was leading, won a total of nine special stages.

The Norwegian said that his second place in Australia is a satisfying result, because it confirms the progress seen in Turkey in mid-October and generates hope for the next world championship rally in New Zealand in 10 days time. Solberg also said he was pleased with the performance of the Pirelli P Zero KP4s fitted on the last day of the rally, as they revealed themselves to be the most suitable choice for the second half of the leg, after having mounted the KP2s for the first segment in the morning.

Chris Atkinson in the second Subaru-Pirelli was able to climb back up to 10th place after putting up a number of optimum performances in the finale, achieving a recovery really worthy of note after his unfortunate "off" during the first leg when he was leading the rally. The Australian said, "This rally really helped to define the preparation of the Impreza and the choice of the P Zeros in the best possible way for the transfer to New Zealand, as well as having given me the pleasure of winning three special stages".

Mario Isola, Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni confirmed, "I am happy with the result achieved by Solberg in his Subaru on Pirelli. What really merits emphasis is the evident recovery of reliability and competitiveness of the cars, the progress of which is at the basis of the notable performance recorded in what was the last Rally of Australia to be held in the Perth area. It is, however, a real shame to have seen the retirement of Marcos Ligato's Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX in the final moments of the rally due to an engine breakdown, while he was leading Group N by such a large margin over his opponents".

Rally of Australia final classification, WRC round nr. 14:
1. Hirvonen (Ford) 2h17'01''8
2. Solberg (Subaru) +37''1
3. Stohl (Peugeot) +3'58''6
4. Pons (Citroën) +4'45''4
5. 10. Atkinson (Subaru) +27'05''5

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

Download the PDF (PDF, 97,4KB)