Petter Solberg was happy to come out second best at the fifth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, as he extended his points lead over Johan Kristoffersson to 35 points.
The PSRX driver could provide no answer to the pace of Frenchman Davy Jeanney, who dominated the event at Germany’s Estering.
However, a second place finish in the grand final was mission accomplished for the reigning series champion, who said afterwards that he made one of the best strategic decisions of his WorldRX career.
“The goal for the weekend was to survive with a decent result and I’ve done that; I’m pleased with second and extending the FIA World RX Championship lead,” he said.
“We were a bit unlucky with unfavorable starting positions in all four preliminary heats, but we followed the plan and ran wisely and risk-free through the first three races. In the fourth heat the opportunity presented itself after a wise choice of strategy for the joker lap.”
“That heat victory took us from fifth to second place in the intermediate – just one point behind the top prize. This was probably my best tactical race ever.”
In the second semi-final Solberg was usurped by Tord Linnerud at the start, although contact between René Munnich and Manfred Stohl meant that he was able to hold second position.
Linnerud’s late joker lap promoted Solberg to the lead, and, crucially, the first row of the final grid, but the pace of Jeanney’s Peugeot in the last race meant that the 40 year old would have to settle for second place overall.
“In the final, Davy Jeanney was fastest off the line. Unfortunately, I took the joker one lap too early and ended up behind Kristoffersson for the next three laps. When the chance of victory had gone, we turned things around and focused on defending our second place.”
“Davy impressed me over the weekend; it seemed for a while like he was playing with us. It was a well-deserved win. Davy has worked hard for this success, and I’m happy for him that it paid off.”