Two-time FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg was already aware that he would have a tough fight on his hands to try and retain his title however the World RX of Norway proved that he will have to fight even harder.
“I love to come home, the fans here are some of the best in the world and it’s fantastic to fight in front of them. But, I must admit, I always struggled with this track. This has been by far the toughest weekend I have had in this championship,” said Solberg. “We tried everything we could without risking too much, but we couldn’t find one answer to where the speed was going. We knew where we had to be and where we were losing the time, but not exactly why. So frustrating!”
The former WRC driver showed excellent pace after upgrades were introduced to his Citroen DS3 at Lydden Hill, however Solberg suffered on home ground as his fellow countryman Andreas Bakkerud dominated the event in his Ford Focus RS RX. Solberg finished Q1 in fourth place overall and then fell to fifth place overall after Q2. In Q3, the Norwegian stayed in fifth place before going quick enough to finish in second place overall in Q4 and getting a place in the Semi-Finals. After taking an early joker on the first lap of his Semi-Final race, Solberg managed his pace to finish in third place, confirming him a place in the Final where from the back of the grid, he worked his way forward to finish in fourth place behind title rival Mattias Ekstrom.
“The important thing was to make the final, which we did. But coming from the back like that it’s always really tough, you’re relying a little bit on what the guys ahead are doing. The positive for me is that we have worked really, really hard, we have dug deep as a team here and made a result possible. [Mattias] Ekström was just ahead of me in the final, so together we are pulling away from the rest of the guys – that’s good, but I still want to be first!”
Solberg is now looking forward to the World RX of Sweden in two weeks time.
“Now we look forward to the next one, which is another huge event for me and for the team – it’s the PSRX team’s home event in Sweden.”