FIA World Rally Championship

Solberg tops time sheets in Wales Rally GB before DNF

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The Solberg name is synonymous with Rally GB, Petter dominated between 2002 and 2005, but it was his older brother Henning that stole the show at this years Wales Rally GB.

Having taken part in four World Rally Championship rallies this year Solberg had already raised some eyebrows when he took the fastest time on SS11 in Sweden.

The 41-year-old once again showed impressive pace in Wales as he took the fastest time on the Chirk Castle stage, showing up his fellow competitors with bigger budgets and more experience.

Solberg looked set to finish in the points again but mechanical problems hit his Ford Fiesta RS WRC and forced him to retire on the final day.

While most competitors at this point would pack up and go home, Henning took the opportunity to mingle with the fans on the stage and soak up some of the WRC atmosphere.

Heading in to the rally Solberg had an unknown variable in his set up – The Pirelli K8 and K4 with unique tread patterns ideally suited to the terrain of Wales Rally GB. Thankfully for the  Norwegian things worked out just fine despite not getting any pre-rally testing on the new tyres.

“The tyres were really, really good,” said Solberg. “I’ve never driven on them before and the only test I had was the shakedown, but still I felt a lot of confidence from the beginning and I was able to push.

“Once again, on Pirelli, I set a fastest stage time in world rallying. In the conditions that I manage to do these rallies it shouldn’t really be possible at all, but we still manage to do it. I’ve always had a very good feeling with Pirelli and this feeling is still the same now.”

Matteo Braga, Pirelli’s senior tyre engineer added:  “It’s always a pleasure to watch Henning drive, for his speed, commitment and passion. Once more, he has highlighted the quality of our products by becoming the only genuine privateer to have set a fastest stage time on the rally, under challenging circumstances.

“Our aim this year was firmly to cater for our private customers, and we have succeeded in our goal of providing them with a competitive product to take on established rivals.”

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Founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Checkered Flag who grew up visiting race circuits around the UK also a freelance motorsport PR officer. Outside of motorsport a lover of music, photography, NBA and NFL.
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