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The painstaking process behind reviving Solberg's Subaru WRC steed
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The painstaking process behind reviving Solberg's Subaru WRC steed

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With attention to detail the first concern, Prodrive’s new Legends department has completed its first restoration project on Petter Solberg's 2004 Rally Japan winner – and is busily gearing up for more

Toyota, Subaru and Mitsubishi passed around the baton for Japan to win a mighty seven World Rally Championship manufacturers’ crowns in a row between 1993 and 1999. Yet the Land of the Rising Sun would wait another five years before making its debut on the WRC calendar. Little wonder, when that time came, that so many of Subaru’s top brass turned out to watch their reigning champion Petter Solberg take to the rough stuff on the island of Hokkaido.

The Norwegian needed to bounce back aboard his Impreza S10, having suffered a massive crash on the preceding Rally Germany to cause a third straight retirement. His response for the inaugural running of Rally Japan in 2004 was emphatic. He and co-driver Phil Mills carved out a 10-second cushion on the opening Yam Wakka route alone and ruled the roost from there. Over the remaining 26 narrow and high-speed gravel stages, they pulled out an eventual 1m13.3s margin to the Citroen Xsara of Sebastien Loeb in second place.

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