26 Apr 08
Petter Solberg retired from Saturday’s competition in Jordan after crashing his Subaru Impreza WRC2007 off the road 5.3km into the day’s final stage, SS16.
He and co-driver Phil Mills escaped injury in the crash.
After a strong performance on the last round in Argentina, Solberg has not had an enjoyable Jordan Rally and retired on the opening day when his car’s front dampers burst on SS6.
He restarted as a Superally entrant on Saturday but more than 16 minutes adrift of the leaders. After encouraging times on the day’s first two stages, Solberg hit trouble again on SS11 when a rear damper reservoir burst and he was forced to complete SS12 with the same problem.
Things didn’t improve much after the car was repaired at the midday service. “We changed the dampers at service, but now it is too hard,” Solberg said after SS13. “I am fighting the car instead of driving it.”
Earlier in the day Subaru World Rally Team principal David Richards acknowledged that the team was experiencing trouble with its dampers. “We’ve had ongoing damper problems on recent events and we don’t seem to have solved them, said Richards. “It’s frustrating for all of us in the team, including Petter and Chris, but we’re working with our engineers to resolve the issues.”
The Subaru team will carry out an inspection of Solberg’s car before deciding whether or not he can restart on Sunday.