09 Jun 08
Subaru World Rally Team principal David Richards says the challenge of the forthcoming Rally of Turkey will be just as tough as the last round in Greece.
And despite a remarkable second place for the team’s new car in Greece, Richards says he is not underestimating the challenge facing the Impreza WRC2008 on its second outing.
“I fully anticipate that it will be equally as tough a test as Acropolis,” said Richards. “Both Petter and Chris have, however, demonstrated what this new car is capable of, so we are confident of another step forward in the learning process. Our main aim is to continue development of the car on events where progress tends to be far swifter but also far more public!”
Paul Howarth, Subaru World Rally Team operations director said he thought road conditions would be as bad as any seen so far this year. “We haven’t been to Antalya for two years, but I think it’ll be just as difficult as Greece,” said Howarth. “They are very demanding roads, and probably narrower in general than the ones we saw in Greece, so it will be just as much about staying on them and getting to the finish.”
The team’s lead driver Petter Solberg finished on the podium in Turkey in 2004 and 2005 and after his second place in Greece he says he’s looking forward to going back to the country.
“The stages have suited us well in the past, explained Solberg. “We were fast there in the old car, and we’ve shown what the new car can do in Greece, so I’m very excited to see what we can do again, to keep pushing and for the results to start coming. I have a good feeling with the new car, so if we can get the whole package working with the roads there, it could be very good. There’s more to come from the car, so I’ll drive my best with no mistakes and see if we can be a little bit quicker than in Greece.”
Chris Atkinson still holds third in the 2008 drivers’ title battle and is looking for a strong finish in Turkey. He was sixth when the rally was last run in 2006. “Turkey will be difficult again as every stage is so varied,” said Atkinson. “It’s also soon after Greece which was a tough rally so it won’t be easy. Okay, it’s only the second rally for the new car, but we have learned a lot already and I hope can take this into Turkey to take the little steps forward we’re after. We need to get some more drivers’ points, so I’ll be pushing.”