Dakar

Petter Solberg eyeing 2024 Dakar Rally effort

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Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

Petter Solberg has accomplished much in his long career, winning the World Rally Championship in 2003 and the World Rallycross Championship twice. But now, he wants to add rally raid to his résumé.

Speaking with Norwegian news radio station NRK Nyheter on Tuesday, Solberg revealed he is looking into pursuing the Dakar Rally as early as 2024 and has been training for such an effort.

“I feel in very good shape now and have been fully training during the day,” he commented. “It may be time for the six-pack to come out again.”

Solberg previously considered entering the Dakar Rally in 2016, but decided against it to focus on the World Rallycross Championship. Having retired from full-time competition after 2018, the 48-year-old has kept himself in racing shape by making sporadic rally starts. In January 2022, he and son Oliver Solberg won the Race of Champions’ Nations Cup for Team Norway before the older Solberg was defeated in the individual tournament by former WRC rival Sébastien Loeb. Solberg previously won the 2014 Nations Cup alongside Tom Kristensen under the Team Nordic banner.

Loeb has become one of the most notable examples of rally racers entering rally raid. The nine-time World Rally Champion and rallycross veteran has raced at Dakar since 2016 and finished runner-up in the 2022 World Rally-Raid Championship T1 standings. The 2016 Rally was also the first of three for Mikko Hirvonen, who raced against Solberg and Loeb in WRC, and he eventually won that year’s Hungarian Baja. The ongoing 2023 edition is seeing the début of Sergio Vallejo, a two-time Spanish Rally Champion who has variably competed in WRC.

He won thirteen rallies during his fifteen-year WRC career. In rallycross, he notched ten victories and the 2014 and 2015 Supercar titles.

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