Subaru wants to notch up a consecutive WRC victory in the Cyprus Rally this weekend, but team boss David Lapworth believes Petter Solberg won't be able to better his four-minute victory in last year's event.
Subaru wants to notch up a consecutive WRC victory in the Cyrpus Rally this weekend, but team boss David Lapworth believes Petter Solberg won't be able to better his four-minute victory in last year's event.
"As a hot, rough and extremely twisty rally, Cyprus is arguably one of the toughest events of the year for the cars, drivers and tyres," he said, "Low average speeds mean a lack of cooling airflow for cars and a difficult factor can be the build up of heat, both in the engine and inside the cockpit.
"The twisty nature of the roads also means that there's no let up for the driver. There are no straights to relax on and the driver is constantly braking, accelerating and turning.
Lapworth added that tyre wear would also be a critical factor in the outcome of the rally. Fortunately for Subaru, its supplier Pirelli has won this event three times in the last four years.
"There's no question that Petter (Solberg) will be looking to repeat his dominant performance of 2003, but we're realistic and know not to expect the same winning margin that we saw last year. This year it's likely to be a much harder fight and the current Championship standings plus the result in New Zealand promise a close contest in Cyprus.
"The rally will be a great opportunity for Mikko (Hirvonen, Solber's team-mate). He's completed the event once before and knows he's starting with the right equipment. Although we're still realistic in terms of our expectations for Mikko, especially considering his age and experience, we're looking to see him put in an impressive performance," he said.
The Cyprus Rally begins tomorrow.
Original article from Car