The Subarus on Pirelli are making a comeback in the Rally of Spain

Salou, 24 March 2006 - By the end of the first leg of the 54th Rally of Spain-Catalonia, Petter Solberg's Pirelli-fitted Subaru Impreza WRC is in fourth place, after having lost precious time early in the morning with brake problems. The Norwegian's team mate, Stphane Sarrazin, is seventh but on his way back up the leader board; the Frenchman complained of a wrongly selected car set-up, which made his Impreza too soft - and, therefore, more difficult to fully exploit. And the third Subaru, driven by Chris Atkinson, is currently eighth, despite going off as a result of which the Australian seriously damaged the front end of his car. For the rally, which is taking place in the Tarragona area, Pirelli Competizioni brought to Spain a new, updated variant of the P Zero RX, designed after testing carried out recently by Sarrazin and Solberg in the hinterland of Liguria on the Italian coast. Stphane Sarrazin praised the new Pirelli tyres, saying, "The work carried out by the Pirelli Competizioni technicians has enabled them to develop a tyre able to guarantee notable progress in adhesion and distance. It is a shame, therefore, that the mistaken definition of my car's set-up slowed me considerably in today's early stages and stopped me from fighting for a top place. But I am confident, because the cocktail made up by the new Impreza and the latest evolution P Zero is such that it should allow me to continue my climb back up the field". Mario Isola, Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni, said, "The early stages of this Spanish rally soon brought out the excellence of the latest evolution of our P Zero RX, which has ensured stage times decidedly better than those of 2005. Without the brake problems on Solberg's car and a set-up that was too soft for the early stages that complicated Sarrazin's life, the overall result could have been different, but there again the rally is a long one and the Subarus have already shown in the past that they are a source of pleasant surprises". Spain's Rally first leg classification, WRC 2006 Event nr. 04: 1. Loeb (Citron) 1h16'07''0 2. Sordo (Citron) +27''3 3. Pons (Citron) +1'01''5 4. Solberg (Subaru) +1'25''6 5. Bengu (Peugeot) +1'32''6 6. Kopecky (Skoda) +1'36''0 7. Sarrazin (Subaru) +1'50''4 8. Atkinson (Subaru) +2'25''5 For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit: www.pirellicompetizioni.com