Solberg crashes during shakedown

Subaru mechanics face a race against time to get Petter Solberg's Impreza ready for this weekend's Rallye Deutschland after the Norwegian hit two trees in a crash in this morning's shakedown session

Solberg crashes during shakedown

After setting some quick times through the first four runs through the special 3.3 km test session, Solberg made some set-up tweaks before his fifth pass.

Approaching the finish line, Solberg was in fourth gear when he reported understeer on the car, which flicked into oversteer, and he went off the road and hit two trees on the co-driver's side.

Solberg said: "The session had started really well, we did four runs without any problems and I could tell that the car had improved a hell of a lot.

"But before the fifth run we made some changes to the rear set up and that gave a little too much understeer. On the last two corners I got off the right line, onto some loose gravel and then spun off into the trees.

"Phil and I are okay, but we were going pretty quickly in fourth gear so the car took a big knock. The guys are working flat out now to try and repair things. We're keeping our fingers crossed."

Both Solberg and co-driver Phil Mills were unhurt in the accident, but the Impreza was badly damaged. However, the team are hopeful that the car can be repaired in time for the start proper tomorrow, because the roll-cage structure has not been compromised.

There is a ceremonial start tonight, however, the car itself doesn't have to present. Only Solberg and Mills themselves need to walk over the ramp to 'start' the event.

Mechanics therefore have until 8.30 am local time tomorrow morning to finish repairing the car.

The accident doesn't necessarily rule out his chances of taking victory in the event - Solberg famously came back from a large shakedown crash in Corsica in 2003 to take victory.

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