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GP Week : Issue 40
>>WRCnews Petter at Fiorano Former Subaru World Champion Petter Solberg tested a Formula 1 Ferrari at Fiorano test track on March 27 – the latest in a long line of world championship rally drivers to try their hand at the peak open-wheeler category. While he has been restructuring his competition career following the end of the Subaru WRT WRC programme, Petter has expressed interest in racing as an alternative to rallying: "I have already had the offer to do a full season with Oreca in racing Le Mans cars but the problem was that Le Mans itself is the same time as Acropolis. “I was hesitant to accept the offer even though I had a test in their car. But I had really surprised myself – things were going very well. Then I had the chance to drive a Formula 1 Ferrari, which was something different again. It was my first time in an F1 car, and it worked very well. Just like I felt with the Le Mans car, everything fitted in perfectly after just four laps. “Of course, the clutch system on the F1 car is different and like everybody I stalled the engine the first time I tried to start. “That car had a hell of a lot of acceleration. It wasn't really so much different to the Le Mans car, just a lot more power and a lighter car. “Both are open cars, but I must say the F1 car was more enjoyable! “It was an absolute new experience and I loved it, and it was so fast. They timed me at 296.9kph, but then the gearbox broke so that was the end of the day. The car had apparently been spun by someone else previously, and maybe that is why it failed, but I have been promised the chance of another drive." The car was a 2005 model, owned by fellow Norwegian, Arne Fredly. Mitsubishi dominates Safari MitSubiShi cars finished 1-2-3 on the Safari Rally, second round of the FiA's regional African championship and a qualifying round of the international Rally Challenge. Carl Tundo's (top pic) lead was assured after rivals Lee Rose and Baldev Chager were delayed by punctures, and Kenyan supremacy was assured after South African driver Lola Verlaque retired her VW Polo Super 2000 with suspension damage, suffered when driving in the dust of a rival driver. Top championship finisher was Zimbabwean Jamie Whyte (bottom pic), winner of the opening ARC round in Tanzania, and second ARC driver was fellow Subaru driver Zambian Muna Singh who finished sixth. 23