Petter Solberg set out his goal in the buildup to the 2016 World RX of Canada: He wanted to re-take the lead of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Drivers Championship from rival Mattias Ekstrom.
However this wasn’t as easy as it sounds. With new developments on the PSRX Citroen DS3 Supercar, Solberg proved that he had lost none of his epic speed as he went fastest in Free Practice before going on to go even quicker in Q1 and Q2 to hold the lead at the Intermediate stage. Despite contact with Timur Timerzyanov in Q3, Solberg retained his lead and to prove that he was aiming for Top Qualifier, the former WRC champion went fastest in Q4 to secure the TQ spot going into the Semi-finals. On pole in Semi-Final One, Solberg left the rest of the field in his wake as he extended his lead over each lap to win the race by 4.7 seconds and secure pole position for the Supercar Final where Solberg opted for slick tyres and dropped back in the mixed conditions where he would go on to finish in fifth place overall.
With Ekstrom failing to make it to the Final, Solberg re-took the Drivers Championship lead from his German rival by four points, however what is foremost on his mind was the accident after the race finished that saw Volkswagen RX Sweden’s Anton Marklund suffer a brake failure as he crossed the finish line and hit the back of Solberg’s Citroen, which was left heavily damaged and Solberg himself taken to hospital for checks.
The Norwegian driver explains further, “The team said that he [Marklund] lost all braking in the car. To be honest – on my feeling alone – this was probably the worst accident of my career, much worse than my crash at Rally Germany in 2004. It took me at least five minutes to get the feeling back in my legs and feel strong enough to get out of the car.
“I went to get checked out at the hospital and I’m okay, but very, very sore. The car did not fare quite so well, it’s in a massively bad condition now and my team has a huge job to get it ready for France. It’s such a shame as we scored maximum points in three of the qualification races, and I won the semi-final, but now we have to work like hell to make the start in Loheac.”
PSRX have confirmed on social media that they have taken the Citroen back to their headquarters to begin rebuilding it and have the car ready in time for the next round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship: the 2016 World RX of France, which takes place on 2-4 September.