Rally of Italy: the Galli-Pirelli duo stopped by a technical failure

Olbia, 20 May 2006 - A punctured water radiator at the end of the last special stage of the day killed off the hopes of Gigi Galli and his co-driver, Giovanni Bernacchini, for another podium finish, this time in the Rally of Italy in the Peugeot 307 CC in Pirelli colours. The Italian crew, who were fighting for third place, were forced to stop on a section of transfer road with their engine temperature through the roof and unlikely to reach the port of Olbia and the end of today's leg. Galli's Peugeot, which was the best placed car on P Zeros, will restart tomorrow under the "Super Rally" formula with a five minute penalty - always supposing the Peugeot engine will be able to compete in the final leg of the rally. So with Galli having slipped down the field, the best placed driver on Pirelli at the end of the second day of the rally is Chris Atkinson: even though he had lost a lot of time to have the mechanics of his Subaru Impreza WRC repaired following a violent landing after a jump, he put up an excellent performance to finish the leg in fifth place. The Australian set in motion a cautious strategy with a view to finishing the day in the best place possible, and with the latest evolution of the Pirelli P Zero he kept up a fast and constant rhythm, remaining in contact with the leaders. Petter Solberg, the works Subaru team leader, who stopped at the end of the first leg so as not to excessively damage his car after a double puncture due to repeated impact with sharp rocks, made up a lot of ground and, after Galli came to a halt, was able to slip into a points position. The Norwegian, the 2003 world rally champion, also won a special stage, further proof of the validity of the Solberg-Subaru-Pirelli "package" - when accidental punctures do not get in the way. Congratulations must go once more to a privately entered driver competing with a Subaru Impreza WRC on Pirelli P Zeros: Kristian Sohlberg, who is seventh overall after a series of outstanding performances in the car fielded by the Turkish team Atlye Kazaz. As Mario Isola, Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, underlined, "The problem with Galli's car is an unpleasant surprise for Pirelli. Now, the Team Bozian technicians will examine the car and see whether or not the damage to the engine will still allow Gigi to re-start tomorrow morning. It is a real shame that this should happen, because the P Zero-shod Peugeot was going very well and Galli was pleased with the new Pirelli tyres used in this rally. The excellence of the P Zeros was further confirmed by the great recovery of Petter Solberg during the second leg and the Atkinson's excellent fifth place". Rally d'Italia-Sardegna second leg classification, WRC 2006 Event nr. 07: 1. Loeb (Citron) 3h02'26''0 2. Hirvonen (Ford) +2'17''0 3. Sordo (Citron) +2'56''0 4. Pons (Citron) +4'27''1 5. Atkinson (Subaru) +5'56''7 8. Solberg (Subaru) +6'57''8 For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com