Solberg rides his luck in Greece

The world champion Petter Solberg admitted he was lucky to maintain his lead in the Acropolis Rally after surviving brake failure yesterday.

The world champion Petter Solberg admitted he was lucky to maintain his lead in the Acropolis Rally after surviving brake failure yesterday.

The Norwegian said he enjoyed some good fortune on the 13th stage when he lost 24.5seconds but still managed to keep his Subaru on the road.

The problem occurred on the 32.55kilometre [20.34 miles] Elatia-Zeli stage, the longest competitive run on the event and one which claimed three victims, including Ford's Markko Martin, the first time it was run on Friday morning.

"The brakes broke 8km from the start, and I had to drive about 23km with just the handbrake," Solberg said. "I'm not sure what it was that caused the problem, but it's good to be back at service. It was pretty exciting stuff, and I'm very, very lucky, let me tell you. I just tried to stay focused and it seems to have worked out OK."

Solberg's consistency elsewhere yesterday - including three stage wins - meant he was able to absorb the loss and take a 58.5-second over Peugeot's Harri Rovanpera into the final leg of six stages today.

"It's lucky that I'd built up some time," he said, "and I've still got a good cushion."

Two of Solberg's successes came in the final two stages. The last stage also saw Martin just miss out on becoming the first driver to rejoin a rally under the new SuperRally re-start system and then win a stage. The Estonian Ford driver was a mere 0.2sec slower than Solberg.

But it was a frustrating end to the day as Citroen's Sebastien Loeb and Peugeot's Rovanpera, who are in third and second places overall respectively, were seventh and eighth on the stage.

Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm was not as lucky as Solberg as he was forced out after damaging his car on today's first stage. He said: "I just slid a little bit wide, and hit the left rear wheel on a rock. The suspension triangle was broken and I knew then that it would be really difficult to continue."

The retirement came after his disqualification in last month's Cyprus Rally for using an illegal water pump. That disqualification stripped Gronholm of 12 points and dropped him from first to fourth place in the World Championship standings. At the start of the Acropolis Rally, Loeb led the standings with 35 points, followed by Martin with 34 points and Solberg with 28.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn