Subaru and Pirelli below par on the Second Leg in spain

Salou, 25 March 2006 - The second leg of the Rally of Spain-Catalonia was not particularly inspiring for Subaru and Pirelli. The official Impreza WRC 06s driven by Petter Solberg and Stphane Sarrazin and the 2005 car entered by the Subaru Rally Team Australia for Chris Atkinson concluded the event's central leg of the fifth round in the World Rally Championship well down the leader board.

"The package made up of the car and tyres in this second day of the Rally of Spain was decidedly below par", said Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, Mario Isola. "As far as we were concerned, the evident progress made during our recent test sessions was not reproduced in the rally and were not up to our expectations as much as the cars supplied by our competitors".

The Milan technician also observed, "We need to carry out further intense test days on asphalt to recuperate competitivity, which enabled us to obtain the best time in practice and to fight for the top placings here in Spain last October. Now, the important thing is to carry out a correct analysis of the results, in order to find the answer to the puzzle, which is now far too intricate. In other words, while still being of the opinion that the results of the tests carried out in recent weeks in Italy are still to be considered extremely valid, we must all work hard to resolve the problems that impede Pirelli and Subaru from being competitive and battle for victory".

A number of set-ups and tyres Subaru-Pirelli decided for the special stages of the second leg of the Rally of Spain showed themselves to be totally inadequate, impeding the drivers from exploiting the Imprezas to the full on surfaces that had often seen Atkinson's older Subaru set better times than Solberg and Sarrazin.

A spin in the late morning further restricted the Norwegian, who later said, "The choice of the soft Pirelli P Zeros for the first special stages of the day turned out to be excessively optimistic for the surface conditions and today's climate. But we are accumulating useful data with which to sharpen our level of preparation for the Tour de Corse, which is only two weeks away".

Spain's Rally second leg classification, WRC 2006 Event nr. 04:
1. Loeb (Citron) 2h24'57''9
2. Sordo (Citron) +34''4
3. Bengu (Peugeot) +2'05''4
7. Solberg (Subaru) +3'42''0
8. Sarrazin (Subaru) +3'56''5

12.Atkinson (Subaru) +5'07''6

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

Download the PDF (PDF, 105KB)