After crashing out of the Finnish Rally, Petter Solberg hopes to benefit from improvements to the aerodynamics and suspension geometry of his Impreza WRC2004, on German asphalt this week.

After crashing out of the Finnish Rally, Petter Solberg hopes to benefit from improvements to the aerodynamics and suspension geometry of his Impreza WRC2004, on German asphalt this week.


After two consecutive retirements, Solberg is desperate to catch current championship leader Sebastien Loeb in the standings. But Citroën star Loeb is a tar-rally specialist and the German Rally will be the first of three asphalt events on which the Frenchman and his Xsara are expected to be tough to beat.


"Germany is the first of three pure tarmac events, and it's significant for us as it's the first time we'll compete with the Impreza WRC2004 on this surface," he said. "Performance on asphalt is likely to be a deciding factor in the championship now, especially with three such events coming up from the next seven.


Solberg is also hoping for a change in fortune, after taking ill in Finland and crashing out of the event on the first day: "The overall result in Finland was not good, but the thing now is to put it behind us and move on.


"We've made some improvements - the aerodynamics of the car are better - and we've proved it's good on the quick stuff. A lot of small details have come together to make us faster. We set some good times in Germany last year, and I enjoy the challenge of the different stages, so I'm hoping for a good finish."