Double FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg brought his A game to the World RX Of Great Britain, the fourth round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship and proved he cannot be counted out of this years title fight.
After finishing in third place at the World RX Of Belgium, the Norwegian and his PSRX Team worked hard on the Citroen DS3 Supercar, bringing forward his planned updates for both the engine and suspension after a strong start to the year has EKSRX rival Mattias Ekstrom leading the championship after two wins on the bounce and the result was mesmerising:
“When we finished in Belgium, we sat down and looked at what we could do for England and the guys got on with it,” Solberg explained, “You could see the result here. We were fastest for the whole weekend, winning all of the races on the way to the final. The car was fantastic, we have more power and the suspension is incredible. We were really back against the Audis this weekend and that’s thanks to the hard work from the team.”
Solberg guided his Citroen to the fastest time in Q1 by half a second over Ekstrom before further improving his lap times to go fastest in Q2 by a staggering 1.9 seconds to hold the lead of the overnight standings. The Former WRC Champion then went on to prove this was no fluke by going fastest in Q3 on Sunday ahead of Timmy Hansen by 1.1 seconds before going second fastest in Q4, nine tenths of second slower than Andreas Bakkerud. This gave him pole position in Semi-Final 1 which he dominated from lights to flag giving him pole position for the Final.
Whilst he led off the line, Solberg held the lead before taking his joker on lap four and came out behind Ekstrom, who had jokered previously in the race. Having been fastest all weekend so far, the Norwegian had no answer to the German driver and would go on to finish in second place. His effort was not without trying though:
“Before the start, I knew it would be quite tough for us. The tyres were quite near the limit and, in the end, I ran out of grip. The joker lap went really well, it was very, very quick, but when it came to the fight with him, I just couldn’t get the power down. Coming out of the right-hander, the car was moving too much. It was so frustrating, I could almost reach out and touch his car, but it just wasn’t possible to get past him.”
However with his home event at Hell in Norway less than two weeks away, Solberg is happy to be back on the pace:
“Hey, look, we take the positives. It’s five points, that’s the difference. Maybe the tyre strategy we ran wasn’t exactly perfect, but the big news for me from here is that we are back. The car is working again, we found more speed and now it’s time to win again!”