Pirelli fighting for victory on the loose stages of Argentina

Cordoba, 28 April 2006 - Petter Solberg and his Subaru Impreza on Pirelli tyres went back to the place they like best from the start of the Rally of Argentina, sixth round in the World Rally Championship. The 2003 world champion began the event in the best possible way by setting the fastest time on the opening stage and battling with Gronholm's Ford and the Citroen of Loeb in the subsequent four timed sections. The sixth stage, with its murderous stony surface, caused an infinity of punctures to a large number of competitors' tyres and even Petter was forced to slow down due to tyre damage. The mousse inside his P Zero worked as it should, but the Norwegian was unable to avoid losing about 10 seconds on the rally leader. "We're fighting for victory and that is the important thing", Petter explained. "I am pleased to already be on the podium and this despite various problems, like the explosion of a window that then obliged us to race with the cockpit full of dust, and two punctures caused by sharp stones on the sixth stage. I'll do everything I can to make up lost ground: the 'mix' made up of the Subaru and Pirelli is such that it makes me feel confident". In fifth place is another car on P Zero - the Bozian team's Pirelli-Peugeot 307 WRC driven by Gigi Galli, who is constantly climbing up the field. "I'm convinced I can do well, because the feeling with the car is continually improving and I am mastering it faster than on the asphalt in Corsica", the Italian remarked. Galli precedes the second works Impreza WRC of Chris Atkinson by three places. The talented Australian ace was slowed after the fifth stage by the balance of his Subaru, which was no longer optimum, but even so he stayed well up with the leaders. Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli Competizioni's top technician for the Subaru World Rally Team, said, "I am reasonably satisfied with the beginning of the rally. The Subarus were back to being very competitive and the excellent times set by Solberg right from the start immediately confirmed that we are on the right road. The latest evolution of the Pirelli P Zeros on the Imprezas and Galli's Peugeot are showing themselves to be extremely effective on murderous surfaces like those of today, with sharp stones and debris everywhere causing all sorts of damage to the cars of many leading crews. But it is logical to be moderately optimistic, even though we are talking about a very long rally". Argentina Rally firstst leg classification after six SS, WRC 2006 Event nr. 06: 1. Grnholm (Ford) 58'56''5 2. Loeb (Citron) +12''7 3. Solberg (Subaru) +14''6 4. Hirvonen (Ford) +31''9 5. Galli (Peugeot) +48''5 8. Atkinson (Subaru) +1'16''5 For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com