Welsh weather hits Stobart crews on Day One
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford drivers Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson had a tough morning on the opening day of Rally GB, the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship, battling mechanical problems and tough conditions to remain in the points after the first three stages of the rally.

Solberg suffered an engine problem on SS1 losing over a minute on the leaders as he struggled to get power from his Ford Focus RS WRC. Despite this he still managed to finish in ninth place on the opening test. His times improved over the next two stages as he climbed up through the field to finish the morning in sixth place.

Wilson meanwhile had a solid start to his rally taking sixth place on the opening stage, but felt that his car was lacking traction in the slow corners which impacted on his times in the next two stages, dropping him down to seventh. Steve Perez, competing in his first WRC event of the season is lying in 18th place after the first section. The 62 starters found the Welsh roads muddy and slippery this morning and those conditions are expected to worsen this afternoon as they take a second pass over the same three-stage loop.

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Matthew Wilson said:
ďWe havenít had a great start. The car feels very slow in the slow corners, it is not pulling well and we are struggling for traction. It feels like it is spinning the inside wheel and the engine feels sluggish. Itís fine on the fast sections, but the slow corners feel like they go on forever. The conditions out there are changing all the time with fog and rain so itís been a tough start.Ē

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Henning Solberg said:
ďWeíve had an engine problem but Iím not exactly sure what it is yet. It might be to do with the rain. It began at the start of the first stage and it comes and goes. It felt like we are running on three cylinders for at least two thirds of the first stage and it is misfiring so the guys will look at it during Service and hopefully work out what the problem is.Ē

Leaderboard after SS3
1. S Loeb/D Elena (FRA) CitroŽn C4 37m23.2s
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen (FIN) Ford Focus RS +8.9s
3. D Sordo/M Marti (ESP) CitroŽn C4 +27.7s
4. P Solberg/P Mills (NOR) CitroŽn C4 +31.1s
5. S Ogier/J Ingrassia (FRA) CitroŽn C4 +1m10.0s
6. H Solberg/C Menkerud (NOR) Ford Focus RS +1m46.3s
7. M Wilson/S Martin (GB) Ford Focus RS +1m52.6s
8. M Ostberg/J Andersson (NOR) Subaru Impreza +2m42.3s
18. S Perez/P Spooner (GB) Ford Focus RS +5m16.5s

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