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Rally France: Petter Solberg puzzled by dramatic crash

Petter Solberg, Ford, France 2012Petter Solberg cannot understand how the dramatic accident that ruled him out of Rallye de France happened.

Solberg crashed out of the event on Saturday morning's opening stage, sliding off the road after braking from a very fast section to a medium-speed left-hander.

Helicopter footage showed Solberg driving through vines, emerging back onto the road and then going straight across the course before hitting an electricity pole - which then fell over, without striking either the Ford or nearby spectators.

There were initial concerns that the Ford might have suffered throttle or steering damage, but Solberg said he simply could not see the road.

"We came too fast and went off to the right," said Solberg. "I kept the throttle in to pull us through the vines - because I knew the road came back around.

"But I couldn't see very well because of the leaves and foliage all over the windscreen. I didn't know we were across the road - I was expecting to see a much more wide-open area when we went over [the road]. And then we went straight to the pole.

"I don't know exactly what happened. We need to look at it more before I can comment.

"One thing is for sure, the car was absolutely perfect - there were no problems with the car at all."

The car sustained damage to the steering and right-front suspension, but Solberg is expected to return for Sunday's final day.

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