01 Jun 08
Henning Solberg’s hopes of a podium finish in Greece evaporated on the first stage of the afternoon when he dropped five minutes with a recurrent engine problem.
The Stobart Ford team had tried to cure the problem at the pre-stage service, but Solberg said the engine was still cutting out.
“It stopped several times - there was nothing I could do,” said Henning. “At one point I pulled over and got out of the car to see if I could fix it. When I got back in I couldn’t get the door closed. Everything is bad now. We’ll have to hope it gets better in Turkey.”
Henning slipped to seventh, allowing BP-Ford team leader Mikko Hirvonen to move to third.
“We’re on course for a podium finish now, and after what has happened this weekend that’s fantastic,” said Hirvonen. “It’s unfortunate for Henning though; I passed his car in the stage. Of course if it stays like this then Sebastien will take the lead of the championship, but only by one point.”
Petter Solberg delivered another strong performance in his Impreza to hold on to second place, but he was sorry his brother had lost out on his podium spot. “It’s too bad - I feel really sorry for him,” said Petter. “It could have been so good - it’s been our dream to finish on the podium together. It’s unlucky but he’s done a really good job this weekend.”
With three more stages to run, rally leader Sebastien Loeb remained calm and composed in his Citroen C4. “No problems,” he said at the stage end. “I think I have enough of a lead but I must try not to make any mistakes.”