Day 2 Greece Mid-day – Solberg struggles to hang on to lead

Day 2 was a game of catch me if you can for Petter Solberg. After an inspiring drive from the Norwegien on day 1, he had a massive lead of 51 seconds and left the rest of the field wondering if it was even possible to catch the 2003 World Champion.

Photo: D.Darrall

But with the lead, comes the road cleaning, and that had a massive affect on his performance throughout the day. On stage 7, the first of the days stages, he made no mistakes, but lost 11 seconds to Loeb in 2nd place. On the following stage he was still struggling with road cleaning, but in the middle part of the 26.28Km Ghymno stage, Solberg had a half spin at a junction and had to turn around to get going again in the right direction. But the damage had been done, and the Norwegian lost 17.4 seconds to Loeb. Sebastien Loeb was hunting him down at a rate of nots and after the final stage of the morning loop before service, he had closed up to 15 seconds away from Solberg.

But the hunter became the hunted. Despite Loeb pushing hard and having Petter in his sights, he lost his 2nd place to his resurging team mate, Sebastien Ogier. Yesterday, at the end of day 1, Ogier wasn’t sure if it was the best decision playing tactics, but it really paid off for the Frenchman. “Not a bad decision” he said after the first stage of the morning after being 6 seconds faster than anyone. He carried that pace on throughout the morning, taking stage wins on the next two stages and with that, he moved into 2nd position overall before mid-day service.

Its been 50/50 for the Ford boys. Jari-Matti Latvala’s problems continued today and his rally went from bad to worst. On the first stage of the morning he had turbo problems and wasn’t sure if it was down to a pipe or the actual turbo. With lack of power, he had to pull over on the stage to let others behind pass. He made it to service without the turbo, but lost masses of time. It was a problem with the turbo its self, so once changed he should be back up to full power in the afternoon loop. Hirvonen was there or there abouts, but pushing very hard to try and keep with the boys at the front. It was a case of needing to find more seconds, the final stage in the morning loop before service, he was closer to the pass. 8.4 seconds faster than Solberg and only half second slower than loeb. But came to service in 4th overall and 8.8 seconds behind Loeb.

This entry was posted in WRC and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s