Petter Solberg has admitted his chances of winning this week's Catalunya Rally were unwittingly doomed at his pre-event test, when he picked the wrong transmission settings for his Citroen.
Solberg has moved up two places on the leader board through today's six stages, but now faces a big fight to keep Spain's Dani Sordo out of the runner-up spot tomorrow. Solberg's efforts are not being helped by the wrong settings in the front differential of his C4 WRC.
"I made the mistake before this event started," said Solberg, "or I guess, we made the mistake as a team. We tested on more abrasive asphalt and ran with the front differential too tight."
Ordinarily, the team would have been able to alter the front differential, but the second of the two transmission options permitted by the regulations had to be set up for the gravel stages on day one.
"The tires are overheating too much," added Solberg. "It's making things quite difficult, but that's how it is."
Solberg's engineer Francois-Xavier Demaison explained the issue, saying: "When the differential is too tight, it means Petter has to be more aggressive on the turn-in to the corner – this is where the problem is coming with the tires overheating."
Solberg starts tomorrow with 16.9sec in hand over Sordo.
"It's going to be a big fight with Dani," said Solberg.