Wilson steady as Solberg slides in Australia
Henning Solberg recovered from an early crash on Day Two of Repco Rally Australia to maintain his sixth place overall as the rally reached its midpoint. Meanwhile his Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team-mate Matthew Wilson remains in seventh place but is now just 9.6 seconds behind Solberg.

The Norwegian fell victim to the wet conditions on SS17 Bosch 1. His car slid off the road into a ditch after a fast left-hand corner but Solberg and co-driver Cato Menkerud got straight back on the road despite sustaining significant damage to the bodywork of the Focus RS WRC and a smashed windscreen.

With a strong road position, Wilson made the most of the cleaner road and the difficulties of the earlier starters stretching his lead over Federico Villagra in eighth place and steadily closing the gap on team mate Solberg in front of him.

This afternoon sees the crews take a second pass over three of the morningís stages and attack another new stage also. With the roads expected to be drier than this morning, Wilson and Martin plan to stiffen their car in Service to improve stability in the fast sections. The day is rounded off by the last runs over the Super Special Stage in Murwillumbah.

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Matthew Wilson said:

ďIt's been a very difficult morning and weíve had really slippery and tricky conditions. When the road is clean the grip is quite good but the worst part is in the cuts where grass and mud has been trailed out onto the road. On the first stage we nearly got caught out braking on a slippery wooden bridge but we are expecting the roads to dry out quite a bit for the afternoon stages.Ē

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Henning Solberg said:
ďWe aquaplaned coming into a fast corner and slid off into a ditch; it was at a fast speed and it took me completely by surprise. A post damaged the windscreen and smashed it so we had to push it out to be able to see. This is my third time driving with no windscreen so at least I have the experience for this situation. The car isnít badly damaged so we should be fine for the rest of the day.Ē

Leaderboard after SS19
1. J-M Latvala/M Anttila (FIN) Ford Focus RS 1h21m09.3s
2. S Loeb/D Elena (FRA) CitroŽn C4 +3.5s
3. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen(FIN) Ford Focus RS +7.9s
4. S Ogier/J Ingrassia (FRA) CitroŽn C4 +10.2s
5. D Sordo/M Marti (ESP) CitroŽn C4 +16.5s
6. H Solberg/C Menkerud (NOR) Ford Focus RS +2m09.9s
7. M Wilson/S Martin (GB) Ford Focus RS +2m19.5s
8. F Villagra/J Perez Companc (ARG) Ford Focus RS +3m15.2s

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