Petter Solberg was left frustrated after a difficult performance at the World RX of Spain left the Double FIA World Rallycross Champion out of the Supercar Final and losing his championship lead back to rival Mattias Ekstrom.
Engine issues on Saturday meant that Solberg was nursing his car through Q1 and Q2, however he masked these issues really well as he ended the first day in fourth place in the overall standings.
Sunday would be a more difficult day as the Norwegian driver struggled to set a competitive time in Q3 due to contact before the organisers sprayed the track ahead of Q4 which meant that the much slippery conditions left Solberg unable to set a competitive time.
Solberg’s frustration was clear, “Frustration is definitely the word from here,” said Solberg. “We had some issues early in the weekend, but still I was confident for Sunday and then they come with this crazy decision to water the track. How can they do that?”
His combined performance over Qualifying meant that the PSRX driver would finish in seventh place overall and this would put him in the middle of the grid for Semi-Final One alongside his former WRC rival Sebastien Loeb and looking for ground to be made up to reclaim an edge in the Drivers Championship…
However the race itself would turn out differently as Solberg explains:
“We made it through qualifying into the semi-final and that race started OK. I made a good start from where I was on the grid. I was behind Loeb going down the hairpin and then Larsson hit me and knocked me wide. After that, I did everything I could, I tried my best to come back at them [Loeb and Larsson fighting ahead], but the final wasn’t possible this time. I’m really disappointed, but let’s look forward and push on for the next race.”
With rival Ekstrom winning the event overall, he now leads Solberg by 10 points as the series moves to the World RX of Latvia in two weeks time. But you can count on two things in Latvia… Solberg will have a plan and he will come out fighting to regain the lead.