10 Mar 08
Petter Solberg’s disappointing run on Rally Mexico was a result of two freak mechanical failures that were beyond his control, says Subaru team principal David Richards.
Things had started well for Solberg on an event he counts as one of his favourites. After setting the fastest time at the pre-rally shakedown, he was quickest through the first four split sectors of SS1 before brake failure in the final kilometres meant he had to ease off. Solberg made repairs that allowed him to continue; but without full braking power he was unable to match his earlier pace.
Worse was to come on day two, however, when three-quarters of the way through SS10 his Impreza WRC2007 experienced a serious transmission problem related to the left-hand front drive shaft.
“Petter had a frustrating event, said Richards. “He had two technical failures, neither of which was down to him. His first problem was down to a broken rear brake caliper which is almost unheard of. [Brake suppliers] AP have never seen a mistake on one of their calipers for 25 years like this, but it just happened to be on Petter’s car. Later in the rally we had a transmission problem with Petter’s car which was also unusual - especially with a gearbox that’s so old and so solid. Sadly these two failures put him out of contention.”