Solberg turns on style as rivals make mistakes

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The world champion Petter Solberg took control of the Acropolis Rally yesterday with a scintillating display in Greece to leave his rivals trailing.

The world champion Petter Solberg took control of the Acropolis Rally yesterday with a scintillating display in Greece to leave his rivals trailing.

The Norwegian started slowly, with Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm taking an early lead, but turned on the style in the afternoon with five consecutive stage wins.

Solberg held a 55.7-second lead in his Subaru heading into day two, with Peugeot's Harri Rovanpera second, narrowly clear of Ford's François Duval. Gronholm lay fourth in his Peugeot, with championship leader Sébastien Loeb close behind in fifth for Citroën.

Solberg is keen not to push too hard though, especially after blowing a certain win in Mexico with a penalty on day one.

"Marcus has made a couple of mistakes and that's been enough to help me today," he said. "I've been unlucky myself this year so many times, so I want to stay out of trouble. Luck has been with us so far and I want to keep it that way."

Markko Martin slid down a bank and out of the rally on stage three. The Estonian will, however, continue under a trial of a new system which, when it is introduced next year, will give out points for each day of an event, rather than the entire rally.

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