Hollywood rocks the ‘ring
Hollywood rocks the ‘ring
Two-time FIA World Champion Petter Solberg dominated the second round of World RX, enjoying the perfect Sunday with victory in today’s Hockenheimring final.
The PSRX star’s second podium in as many races moves him clear at the top of the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship standings.
Solberg said: “What a fantastic to start the season! That’s two amazing results in the first week. Perfect.
“The weekend didn’t start quite so well when we struggled a little bit in the first heat. We were pushed off the track and got back on to finish 16th, that wasn’t exactly the result we were hoping for in race one… But, as always with this brilliant PSRX team, we had a good and very secure plan and strategy for the weekend.
“We work hard on our strategy and I completely believe in it; we fought our way back to the top by being consistent and keeping out of trouble. Oh, and by being quite fast as well!
“I had some good starts in these races even though I had to do it all manually in the car, instead of relying on the launch control. The only other problem we had for the rest of the time was a puncture in the semi-final, but I had built a good gap to the guy behind me so I could secure the win.
“In the final, I was lined up in pole position with Reinis Nitiss on my side. I tell you, this Nitiss, he is the clever guy, very clever guy – much more than I was at his age (19).
“Both of us got a good start from the final and I kept following my plan, while watching out for another puncture. I had a good pace and was able to keep pretty good control in the last race. It was about pushing hard in the right places and keeping calm everywhere else.
“This is a great victory and a special one with World RX round two being part of the DTM, with thousands of spectators and a lot of spectacle. The level of competition in the championship is higher than last year; I can see that my rivals have developed during the winter, and so have the semi-factory team cars.
“Even though we are leading the championship by 15 points, we know it will be very hard to defend the lead. We have 11 more races to go this year and I expect a big fight at every one of those 11 races.
Luckily for me I just love tight fights!
“I can’t go without saying a word about PSRX: my team is just amazing. I can’t thank them enough. They have worked extremely hard the last couple of months, but in the end of the day the results make up for all the effort.
“And, of course, it’s not just one championship we are leading. Along with Liam [Doran], we are at the top of the Teams’ standings as well. I think we can definitely call this a good weekend!”
After struggling with illness at the opening round in Portugal last week, Solberg’s win was the perfect medicine this weekend. The Norwegian was on sensational form to win four of the six races he started – taking the final by an incredible 2.5 seconds.
Today’s win always looked to be in safe hands after Petter arrived at the Hockenheimring with some shiny and very cool new gloves from OMP. They were designed – and coloured in black, yellow and red – especially for the world champion’s first time competing at the famous Germany circuit.
Petter’s fellow SDRX driver Liam Doran won heat two and held a strong third place overnight. Unfortunately for the Briton, he hit technical trouble in today’s first semi and failed to make the final. Despite that, the alliance of Solberg and Doran is strong enough to lead the Teams’ Championship.
The three-word weekend:
Hello, top step.
The big number:
100 per cent of German World RX rounds won by Petter Solberg.
1 Petter Solberg 4m37.837s
2 Reinis Nitiss 4m40.377s
3 Timmy Hansen 4m41.659s
4 Toomas Heikkinen 4m44.562s
5 Robin Larsson N/A
6 Andreas Bakkerud N/A
Drivers’ championship positions:
1 Petter Solberg 57pts
2 Johan Kristoffersson 42pts
3 Andreas Bakkerud 37pts
4 Timmy Hansen 33pts
5 Reinis Nitiss 32pts
6 Toomas Heikkinen 29pts
Teams’ championship positions:
1 SDRX 74pts
2 Ford Olsbergs MSE 69pts
3 Peugeot Hansen 61pts
Next time out
It’s time to finish a job I started last year… winning in Belgium. If we do that, I promise I will try at least one of the 847 different varieties of beer brewed there. And if I don’t get a beer, I’ll definitely get a coffee; Belgium is the world’s sixth biggest importer of coffee with 4.3 million bags sold every 12 months.
Almost finally, an answer:
At round one, we asked how many times Petter changed gear during the opening race weekend in Portugal. The answer is 879 times.
Finally, a question:
Which country is the leading exporter of billiard balls? We’ll tell you next time out in Belgium.
Want to know more about your FIA World Rallycross Champion?
Per-Espen Lochen PR/Media Manager
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