The Mitsubishis on P Zero still among the leaders in Sweden

Hagfors, 4 February 2006 - The two Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IXs driven by Daniel Carlsson and Gigi Galli and both fitted with Pirelli P Zero tyres, have maintained their positions at the top of the leader board at the end of the second leg of the Rally of Sweden. In the seven special stages that made up this segment of the second round in the World Rally Championship, the two standard bearers of the Japanese marque traded the provisional third place on several timed sections, setting a number of notable times as a result of using tyres made using the exclusive Pirelli system of vulcanising studs into the P Zeros and the new short studs of innovative design, which were also used on the Subarus of Atkinson and Solberg. The leader of the works Subaru team, Petter Solberg, did not event have much luck on the second leg, having mechanical problems on the last special stage of the day, which hampered his attempt to climb back up the field from way down the classification, and which he started this morning. Solberg's Impreza WRC on Pirelli lost another two minutes, which put him in 15th place prior to tomorrow's final leg. Chris Atkinson constantly made up ground in a sister car, finishing the leg just in front of Solberg. Chris said, "I'm satisfied with the overall performance offered by the studded P Zeros and I intend to continue to climb further up the field in the final leg. Today, I made up twelve places in seven stages". Mario Isola, Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, praised the Mitsubishis, saying, "Galli and Carlsson have put up a tremendous performance in cars that have not been further developed since last year. I would also like to emphasise the recovery of Atkinson and Solberg, before the latter was further slowed on the last stage of the day. Their progress is also in part due to the evaluation and advice of Terenzio Testoni, the Pirelli Competizioni technician who provides support for the works Subarus, and not only them. We have always found ideal solutions for each stage throughout the entire leg, which has permitted the Imprezas to recuperate a lot of ground. Their current placings do not reflect certain values of the car-tyres combination, but after the time lost yesterday, making up so many places in one single leg must be considered an excellent performance". Swedish Rally second leg classification, WRC 2006 Event nr. 02: 1. Gronholm (Ford) 2h21'51''9 2. Loeb (Citron) + 25''1 3. Carlsson (Mitsubishi) +2'32''7 4. Galli (Mitsubishi) +2'33''0 5. Ekstrm (Skoda) + 3'28''1 For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit:  www.pirellicompetizioni.com