Ford team director Malcolm Wilson says Petter Solberg still has a tire package to challenge for victory on Rally New Zealand, despite having used another set of soft tires and still being nearly a minute and a half down on the leading Citroens.
There was surprise that the Norwegian went out on four new soft tires on Saturday morning, when the worst of the weather is expected to come in for Sunday. Wilson's Citroen counterpart Yves Matton admitted he expected Solberg to save his best tires for the final day. Solberg was fastest across the morning loop by 13 seconds, but has switched to hards for the afternoon.
"We've still got enough soft tires," said Wilson. "He'll be on virtually new ones tomorrow.
"It was a little bit drier than we thought it would be this morning, but when it was damp the difference was almost the same as yesterday – it was almost a second per kilometer.
"Maybe we had hoped for a little bit more time this morning, but as soon as it got dry, the margin was less. But we've taken time out of Citroen and we've kept them under pressure."