Solberg sets the pace on his World Rally Car return

News release

02.11.14

Solberg sets the pace on his World Rally Car return

One thousand four hundred and sixty-seven days after driving a Citroen C4 WRC to second place on Rally GB 2010, Petter Solberg showed his world-beating ability to return to a C4 yesterday and immediately set the pace down stages he’d never seen competitively before.

The recently crowned FIA World Rallycross Champion – who also happens to be the FIA World Rally Champion – was making a one-off outing on Belgium’s Rallye du Condroz-Huy. Reunited with Phil Mills, the Welshman who co-drove him to the top of the rally world in 2003, the old partnership was soon back into the groove. And fastest.

The Huy-based, two-day Belgian classic started with good and bad news for the Norwegian-Welsh alliance. The bad news was a spin on the opening 6.51-kilometre stage; the good news? Petter and Phil were still quickest! And they stayed ahead until they retired in SS11.

They were forced out when the Citroen developed a hydraulic leak late on Saturday. Despite numerous problems early in the event, Solberg had established a lead of more than half a minute – although this was trimmed back to 17 seconds when the organisers neutralised SS4.

Petter said: “What a fantastic event – apart from us retiring! I must say, the atmosphere and the passion of the people in this part of the world is absolutely incredible. I didn’t compete in Belgium before, but this is unbelievable. I absolutely loved Condroz.

“It was fantastic to get back in a C4 again – what a great chassis this car is. And it was great to be back there with Phil [Mills]. Everything worked just like I remembered it; it was brilliant to have him reading the notes to me again. It’s true, we did have a few issues with the transmission and the hydraulics. We lost the power steering and the fluid for the hydraulics, which meant we couldn’t change gear. We managed to fix it, but then we got a leak, which caused a small fire. That was such a shame. We weren’t having the cleanest of runs, but it was such good fun to be competing and enjoying ourselves with guys like Kris Meeke and his co-driver Paul [Nagle].

“Like I said, apart from retiring, this was the perfect weekend of rallying!”

One thing we liked about Condroz:

Everything.

One thing we didn’t like about Condroz:

Nothing.

If you want to know more about the FIA World Rally and Rallycross Champion:

PSRX media:

Per-Espen Lochen

per-espen@pettersolberg.no

+46 76 110 7 110

+47 952 43 245

FIA World RX media:

rxmedia@imgworld.com

rachel.cavers@mpacreative.com

+44 1372 414120

+44 7500 877304

pettersolberg.com

rallycrossrx.com

@Petter_Solberg

@RallycrossRX

www.facebook.com/PetterSolbergWRC

www.facebook.com/fiaworldrallycross

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