Petter Solberg is not only one of the overall benchmarks in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, but also the reference in the privateer field, achieving strings of top class results in his Citroën DS3 RX. But this is about to change in 2017, as Mr. Hollywood finally got the long awaited factory deal he deserved.
He will be linked with Volkswagen with PSRX doing the running of a pair of Volkswagen Polo RX models prepared in Germany by Volkswagen Motorsport with support from Volkswagen Sweden, the kind of deal that even Solberg admitted he was waiting for. As for the team mate to be present in the second car, he is no other than Johan Kristoffersson, a driver with strong ties with Volkswagen, driving the Polo RX for various seasons, and a fierce opponent of Solberg as he was always able to win events and be competitive enough to fight for the title until the very last moments.
This new deal between Solberg and Volkswagen not only solves his need of factory support but also puts him in a position where he never was, which is being a candidate for the teams’ championship. Although the Norwegian has two World RX titles, he ran on his own since 2014, outside the single year deal with Liam Doran in 2015, which didn’t make him eligible for the teams title. With increasing factory support and stronger cars and driver lineups bring brought by the main forces like Peugeot-Hansen and EKS, and with teams like Hoonigan and Olsbergs evolving pretty quickly, Solberg couldn’t be left behind in the World RX arms race.
At the moment Solberg’s deal is the only reportedly confirmed for the 2017 season, although we shouldn’t expect too many changes in the other teams.
PHOTO: Petter Solberg