Subaru and Ford still in the hunt

Petter Solberg and Markko Martin have insisted they are still in the race for the championship despite their misfortunes on this weekend's Sanremo Rally

Subaru and Ford still in the hunt

Martin can feel a little aggrieved that he didn't leave Italy with more than the six championship points he scored after setting fastest times on half the rally's stages. As in July's Deutschland Rally, his pace was offset by numerous problems.

"We had the speed and it was a big fight with Sebastian who had a good rally," said Martin, now fifth in the driver standings, 14 points behind leader Richard Burns. "It was difficult to beat him, but we have a slight chance to win the championship. Now my aim is to win a rally on asphalt before finishing the season, as everybody is saying that the Focus is the best car at the moment."

Subaru and Solberg were upbeat about their chances heading into the rally, but the Impreza just wasn't able to challenge on dry asphalt. Subaru has scheduled an extra test this week to try and improve its performance on dry tarmac and Solberg has vowed to bounce back.

"I have not given up the championship title," said Solberg, who is fourth in the standings. "It was not good for me that Seb won in Italy. But I won't give up. We shall fight back. We have to do everything possible to close the gap. It's strange to come from a win in Australia and be two minutes behind Sebastien after the first day in Sanremo."

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