Solberg boosted by stage win

Petter Solberg says his fastest time on the final stage of the second day of the Catalunya Rally shows he is ready to fight for the World Rally Championship again

Solberg boosted by stage win

The Norwegian set his first fastest time in a Citroen C4 WRC on SS12, beating rally leader Sebastien Loeb by six tenths of a second.

"This shows I'm back," he said. "It's fantastic, this is what I was waiting for. Everybody is still in the rally and everybody is fighting and we have beaten them all - and I've done it on asphalt, where I haven't won so many rallies.

"I have to say, for me personally, I feel quite emotional at this moment. I have put so much work in, so many people have put so much work in to make this happen and now we are there - or we are getting very close.

"I'm thinking and working towards next year and fighting for the world championship, and this is what I have been looking for. My first event in the new car and this is a great result."

Solberg came close to winning this afternoon's re-run of the added the longest stage, but missed out when he slowed down to conserve his tyres in the final sector of the El Pirorat test.

Solberg already feels at home in the C4 WRC and says he is returning to the style which won him the 2003 title.

"This afternoon, I realised I have to change my style," he said. "I have to go back to 2003. Recently, I have had to be more aggressive with the car, well that's changed now. Now I can sit back, relax and drive the car. It's a fantastic feeling. A lot of people have said a lot of things in the last few years, but I feel this makes up for it all. I am happy right now."

Solberg holds fourth place in the Catalunya Rally going into the final day. He is 22 seconds behind Ford's team leader Mikko Hirvonen and admitted he would be pushing for the bottom step of the podium.

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Loeb retakes Rally Catalunya lead

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