30 May 08
Norwegian Henning Solberg holds fourth place after day one of the Acropolis Rally but says he owes his position to backing off the pace, rather than pushing too hard.
Henning, driving in Greece for the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team, will start day two 6.9 seconds adrift of the man in third place - his younger brother Petter. Henning holds the upper hand in the 2008 drivers contest, however, leading his brother by two points.
The only trouble Henning experienced on Friday’s stages came on SS3 when he overshot two junctions.
“We had a good feeling with the car all morning and it is stayed strong in the tough conditions of the afternoon too,” said Henning. “The stages were not as rough as I thought they were going to be but it is extremely hot in the car so I was just trying my best to concentrate on my driving. The exception to this was stage 6, it was incredible, and the roads were right down to bedrock. I had to back off so as not to damage the car. We lost some time but it was definitely the right decision as some of the others had problems and now we moved up to fourth.”
Stobart Team principal, Malcolm Wilson, said Henning had adopted exactly the right approach for the tricky conditions. “Today has probably been one of Henning’s best runs on an opening day of a rally for a long while. He has used his head in the rough conditions and knows when to push and when to back off. Now he’s in a great position for tomorrow.”