2014 FIA World Rallycross Champion and 2015 Championship leader Petter Solberg saw his run of podiums this season come to an end at the Holjes round of WorldRX.
The SDRX driver went into the event weekend with a plan in mind as he looked to defend and increase his 35 points margin over second placed Johan Kristoffersson in the Drivers’ Championship, however, like most plans, not everything went to… plan. That part was something that Solberg was happy with.
“Both good news and not so good news from Höljes. Good news is that we extended the lead in the FIA World RX Championship by 9 points to our closest rival Johan Kristoffersson. We are now in the lead by 44 points and we are very happy with that. The main difference regarding the points score we have done this season compared to 2014 is that we have a much more steady score in the intermediate standings. So far this season we have four top spots and only given away two points in that category.”
After taking his Citroen DS3 Supercar to the fastest laptime in Free Practice on Saturday morning, Solberg then went on to struggle with car issues that plagued him during heats one and two, leaving him on the backfoot to fight back on Sunday. In tradition fashion Solberg fought back to go fastest in the two final heats, qualify for the Semi-Finals and take a spot on the back row for the Final.
“Unfortunately we started the race on Saturday with some technical problems after setting a new lap record in the free practice. I couldn’t get the starts right and had to make the best I could out of bad situations. Still I managed to save a fourth place after two heats,” Solberg explained.
“On Sunday we had sorted out the problems, and I managed to win both heats and grab 16 World Championship points. In the final the clutch was broken and I couldn’t get the start right. So I chose to follow Mattias Ekström into the joker lap. The two of us started to chase the three cars in front and closed the gap pretty well. But in the fifth lap I cut one corner too hard and broke the steering arm. It was my own mistake and a calculated risk to try to reach the podium in a very difficult situation. I was not able to finish the race.”
Despite bringing his run of podiums to an end, the 2003 WRC Champion still increased his lead in the Championship and he now looks forward to the next WorldRX event in Canada.
“I’m not happy with the result, but I’m more than happy to extend the championship lead. Next up is Canada where I won in 2014. I can’t wait to go there to defend both the World RX Championship lead and last year’s win.”