Henning : I thought Meeke would beat me
To third place on Wales Rally GB
Henning Solberg has told Wrc.com that he thought he would lose out on third place on Wales Rally GB because he couldn’t respond to Kris Meeke’s pace on the final day of the world championship qualifier.
Solberg, in an M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC, started Sunday’s final six stages 45 seconds in front of Meeke’s MINI John Cooper Works WRC. But a stunning charge by Meeke meant he had slashed Solberg’s margin to just 1.8s heading into the event-closing Power Stage.
“I didn’t find a good rhythm in the car,” said Solberg. “Even though I changed a lot of things [on the car] the last day and I didn’t recognise how to drive it. I was a bit nervous and thought Kris could catch me. But on the long last stage [Crychan] I made the car much softer and that helped me because he was beating me.”
“But then I had a [half-spin] in a right-hander not so far from the end of the stage and lost nine seconds. I don’t know why it happened but it meant Kris got even closer to me. But for the Power Stage I was much faster and when I knew his time was bad [after he spun] I took it easy.”
Of the moment on the Power Stage that cost him a shot at the podium, Meeke said: “We just got caught on a hairpin in the ruts, it just hugged the inside and it pulled the steering wheel out of my hands.”
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