01 Jun 08
An intermittent engine problem slowed Henning Solberg by almost a minute through Sunday’s third stage, putting his podium place under serious threat from the man behind, Mikko Hirvonen.
Solberg started the day 1min 55sec ahead of Hirvonen, but after the three morning stages he brought his Stobart team Ford Focus to the midpoint service with his advantage slashed to just 22.6sec.
“I don’t know why but the engine keeps stopping,” said Solberg “I have to keep turning it on and off. We had a similar problem yesterday but it’s worse now.”
Hirvonen was quick to react to Henning’s problems and the Finn switched his driving from cautious to full attack. “Now it’s flat out,” said Hirvonen. “I saw he had a problem on the splits so I increased the pace. But it’s still quite a lot of time to make up. I’m sure he has something in reserve, so we’ll have to see how its goes.”
Chris Atkinson retired on the road section before SS16 because of rear suspension damage collected on the previous stage.