Petter Solberg Wins In Barcelona

2014 FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg secured his third WorldRX victory of the 2015 season at Barcelona in Spain last weekend as he returned to winning ways.

The SDRX pilot wasn’t the quickest driver during the heat stages in his Citroen DS3 Supercar but he stuck to his plan and was quick enough to qualify for the Semi-Finals and then into the Final, where he got ahead of both Timmy Hansen and Johan Kristoffersson and not looking back.

Solberg was overjoyed with his third victory of the year.

“The whole weekend we have been fighting so hard, my mechanics have been flat out trying lots of different set-ups on the car so it’s fantastic to be able to be on the podium again,” explained Barcelona RX winner Solberg.

“The Peugeots were so fast again this weekend and we had some troubles in heat three when I got caught in dust and clipped a bale.  I started on the second row in the semi-final and was happy to get second but I wasn’t totally pleased with the car so we made some more set-up changes for the final. I had a really good start from the second row and managed to get ahead.  I made a small mistake on the gravel, it was really slippery, but I saw the guys behind me also lost some time so I just kept going and managed to keep ahead.  This win means even more today because my son Oliver also won in crosskart back in Sweden – I spoke to him before the final and he was teasing me telling me I had to win because he did.  I think it worked!”

Johan Kristoffersson jumped his way into P2 in Spain (Credit: FIA World Rallycross Championship)
Johan Kristoffersson jumped his way into P2 in Spain (Credit: FIA World Rallycross Championship)

Volkswagen Team Sweden driver Kristoffersson came home in second place behind Solberg, taking his best finish since winning round one in Portugal and he was very happy to be back on the podium again.

“It feels great to be back in the end of event press conference,” explained the Portugal event winner.  “We’ve found a lot of speed this weekend and I had four new tyres for the semi-finals which definitely helped me push ahead of the others.  

“During the final, I had a better launch than Timmy off the front line but Petter managed to get round the side and so I decided to take the Joker in the first lap.  I want to take a moment to thank my team – they’ve done a fantastic job with the car, it’s been working great and I’ve loved driving it this weekend.”

Team Peugeot-Hansen‘s Hansen completed the podium in third place after the young Swedish driver finished Day One leading the Overall event standings in his Peugeot 208 WRX. However, his third place means the team secured its sixth consecutive podium finish and reduces the gap to Solberg down to 35 points in the Drivers Championship. Hansen praised the team for his efforts.

“I’ve had such a fast car this weekend, it has been so good once again. I was even surprised at some of my times, I didn’t think I had been going that quick but the lap times were really good,” explained Hansen. “My confidence grew when I got pole position but Petter got ahead and then I made a few small mistakes on the dirt after it had been watered which cost me some time.  My team were pushing me hard on the radio, and I tried as hard as I could.”

Team-mate Davy Jeanney had a better run of form and finished the final in fourth place, helping to extend Team Peugeot-Hansen’s lead over Ford OlsbergMSE to 77 points. Red Bull GRC star Tanner Foust qualified for the Final and finished in fifth place whilst 2014 EuroRX Champion Robin Larsson retired on lap one.


Ole Christian Vieby took victory in the FIA European Rallycross event in Spain (Credit: FIA World Rallycross Championship)
Ole Christian Vieby took victory in the FIA European Rallycross event in Spain (Credit: FIA World Rallycross Championship)

The penultimate round of the 2015 European Rallycross Championship saw Marklund Motorsport/HTB Racing star Tommy Rustad take victory on the road but he was later disqualified, handing victory to Volkswagen Team Sweden driver Ole-Christian Veiby ahead of Alexander Hvaal in his Citroen DS3 and Joni-Pakka Rajala completing the podium in his Eklund Motorsport Saab 93.

Albatec Racing‘s Jerome Grosset-Janin qualified his Peugeot for the Final but contact at turn one ruled him out of the running, but as Rustad was disqualified, the Frenchman remains seven points behind him and in contention for the 2015 EuroRX Title.

The FIA World Rallycross Championship returns to action in Turkey in two weeks time.