Solberg happy to run first on Saturday

Rally New Zealand leader Petter Solberg says running first on the road tomorrow holds no fear for him

Solberg happy to run first on Saturday

The Norwegian ended Friday's nine stages 1.4 seconds ahead of Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala. The second day of the event takes crews south of Auckland to stages which aren't expected to benefit cars running later as much as they did today.

"I'm not worried about anything at all," said Solberg. "My target is to contain the time loss to around 20 seconds tomorrow. I have been surprised that some of the guys further behind us haven't been a bit quicker today. I'd say it cleaned more today than it will tomorrow."

Local weather forecasters have talked about rain tomorrow and Solberg admitted that it would make his job easier.

"Rain would help me a lot," he said. "It would keep the surface together more. There would be less cleaning if it rained. But, hey, look, I don't mind. I'm first, I'm leading the rally and I'm not worried about tomorrow at all."

Asked if he'd been impressed with Loeb's performance on SS7, where he took seven seconds out of everybody, while running in the unfavourable first on the road slot, Solberg replied: "I'm not impressed, no. Loeb's times have been good, but nothing that I'm going to worry about.

"I can feel my confidence coming and coming with this car. And the car is also coming and getting better, it's improving bit by bit and I'm getting to know it better and better. This is certainly better than the last round, but still, there's more to come."

Ford's Mikko Hirvonen was tipped as the man to watch through the second day after running his Focus softer than he would have liked on Friday. He is just 20 seconds off the lead, but crucially is fourth on the road.

He said: "Tomorrow we will push like mad and see what we can do. Today hasn't been good, but tomorrow could be better."

shares
comments
Drivers deny using slowing tactics
Previous article

Drivers deny using slowing tactics

Next article

Ogier moves clear in New Zealand

Ogier moves clear in New Zealand
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021