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  Home > Rallies > Corsica > Rallye de France 2003
Petter works miracles
During the shakedown in thursday morning Petter Solberg went off and hit a pole, severely damaging his Impreza WRC. Car was too badly damaged to get out of the stage under it's own power and Petter's participation to the rally was in jeopardy. Prodrive was ready to fly a new Impreza from England as replacement but stewards did not allow this as original had already been scrutineered.

Next team-mate Makinen offered his car for Petter but team decided to try a repair, a gallant approach given the lack of workshop and very little time for a complete rebuild. Long night ensued for the Prodrive mechanics but by six o'clock next morning car was repaired, effectively declared "mechanically fine" though not intact cosmetically.

Pirelli tyres have not quite been as effective on tarmac than Michelin and french teams Citroen and Peugeot were regarded as unbeatable on sealed surface. Odds seemed long for a win but better reward is hard to think of for the hard-working Prodrive team. On final stages of leg two rain fell and Solberg moved to lead and eventually scored a valuable win.

Championship status
Rallye de France 2003 counts for:

2003 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers/Co-drivers
2003 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers
2003 FIA Production Car World Championship (for drivers)

 373rd WRC rally 
 Round of season: 12 of 14 
 Official name: Rallye de France - Tour de Corse 
 Edition: 47th 
 Date: from Friday 17-Oct-2003 to Sunday 19-Oct-2003 
 Rally HQ: Ajaccio, Corsica; France 
 Clerk of the Course: Robert Lagulhon 
 Surface: Tarmac 
 Entries: 71  
 Starters: 62  
 Finishers: 34 (54.8% of starters) 
 Stages: 16 
 Shortest: 14.64km(SS1 Cargese - Paomia 1)
 Longest: 40.94km(SS12 Col de Carazzi - Bastelica 2)
 Slowest: 87.90km/h(SS8 Pont de la Masina - Col St. Georges 1)
 Fastest: 98.06km/h(SS6 Golfe de la Liscia - Sarrola Carcopino 2)
 Planned stage distance: 397.40km(40.9% of total distance)
 Actual stage distance: 397.40km(40.9% of total distance)
 Road section distance: 574.35km
 Total distance: 971.75km
    Win was 4th win and 12th podium for Petter Solberg.
 Second place was 88th podium for Carlos Sainz. 
 Third place was 2nd podium for Francois Duval. 
    Win was 38th win and 98th podium for Subaru.
    Second place was 23rd podium for Citroen.
    Third place was 168th podium for Ford.
petter wins
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
Rain helped Petter to achieve win on tarmac Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Related links
Rallye San Remo 2003
Rally Catalunya 2003