Subaru WRC - Germany
Solberg takes 8th while Makinnen Retires

July 27, 2003

Loeb wins in Germany, Solberg eighth

Feeling 100 per cent better, Subaru World Rally Team driver Petter Solberg put in a spirited performance at the wheel of his Subaru Impreza WRC 2003 and set a string of consistently good times to finish eighth in Rally Deutschland overnight.

The event was won by Citroen?s Sebastien Loeb.

Solberg secured two Manufacturers? points for Subaru and another in the Drivers? championship.

56 of the original 79 competitors left Trier parc ferme at 0500hrs yesterday morning.

The shortest of the event, Leg 3 comprised 101.54 competitive kilometres and six stages (a loop of three repeated). Stages were based north and east of the service park in Bostalsee, in the vineyards of Mosel and the region of Saarland.

Following a dry start, heavy rain showers fell intermittently throughout the day. Air temperatures started at 19°C, rising to 26°C by mid-afternoon. Stages were damp, with some loose gravel.

Stage Reports

SS17 0728hrs Schönes Moselland 1 (15.29km)

Fastest time: McRae (Citroen) 9:03.6

As Sebastien Loeb and Marcus Gronholm resumed their battle for the overall lead, there were difficulties for Gronholm on the first run through the narrow Schones Moselland. Hitting a rock mid-test, the Finn sustained damage to his Peugeot?s rear-suspension, which knocked the 206?s steering out of alignment. Although he completed the stage, dropping only 7.4 seconds to event leader Loeb, with two more stages to run before the next service, it was likely he would lose more time before vital repair work could be carried out. Colin McRae took the stage win, with Loeb second and Richard Burns third. Contested in the picturesque Mosel wine region, the test included a series of hidden crests and junctions, before finishing with a climb through vineyard roads. After the finish, crews moved directly to the start of SS18.

SS18 0758hrs Moselwein 1 (16.55km)

Fastest time: McRae (Citroen) 10:04.5

While there was no sign of the forecast rain, there were more problems for some of the leading WRC crews on the smooth Moselwein test. Gronholm lost another 10 seconds as he battled with his damaged 206, while Markko Martin lost time when a transmission problem left his Ford with front wheel drive only. The incident cost the Estonian 12 seconds and overall third, which was snatched by Colin McRae. A good run for Subaru driver Petter Solberg. Despite overshooting a junction, the Norwegian finished fourth fastest, to move up to ninth overall, and end the test just 2.8 seconds behind Panizzi who was in overall eighth. With the Frenchman continuing to be dogged by both brake problems and a broken shock absorber, Solberg ended the test well poised to take the final point scoring position.

SS19 0916hrs St.Wenderler Land 1 (18.93km)

Fastest time: Sainz (Citroen) 9:52.6

Rapidly changing conditions on the 18.93km narrow St Wenderler section caused by intermittent rain showers shook up the overall leaderboard. Contesting the stage on slicks and running further down the order, Citroen drivers McRae and Loeb, were both caught in a torrential downpour and forced to slow. Finishing the test 25 seconds behind the leaders after also suffering a spin, McRae lost overall third, allowing Burns to take the potential podium position. With just 8.9 seconds separating the pair at the

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