Tuesday 16 October 2018

Petter Solberg's World RX team clinches second consecutive title, as he returns to form.

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media.
PSRX Volkswagen Sweden clinched their second consecutive FIA World Rallycross teams’ title in Buxtehude, Germany. Solberg’s team has faced some of the fiercest and closest competition in the history of rallycross for a second year running.

The team needed 55 points to clinch the title in Germany, and the points were secured after a strong performance in the semi-finals. 

“World champions again! That’s a fantastic thing to say," said Solberg. "We came here with one goal and one objective and we did it. I’m so happy for my team, for Volkswagen Motorsport, for Volkswagen Sweden and all of the partners and sponsors – we achieved this together guys."

The three-time FIA World Champion claimed first place in Q1 and did not have an easy run after that registering third overall in Q2, fifth in Q3 and eighth overall after Q4. 

In semi-final 1, Solberg clinched second by 0.529s behind his team mate Johan Kristoffersson. The Norwegian's upturn in speed returned at the Circuit of the Americas, where he nearly clinched his first win of the season. “On a personal level, I’m so happy that I continued to pick up my speed from Texas," said Solberg

The final was red flagged and the race was restarted. Petter got off to the perfect start, but exited Turn 1 in fourth place. He later retired due to an overheating engine. "What happened in the final, when I retired with a technical issue, it’s disappointing, but it doesn’t stop me knowing I have the speed and the fight to be at the front," the Norwegian says. "That’s so important to me."

The PSRX Volkswagen Sweden formed in 2017, claiming eight wins in its debut season. Seven wins for the eventual champion Johan Kristoffersson and one win for team owner Petter Solberg. In 2018, at the first test in Silverstone, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden were not favorites, but Kristoffersson went on to clinch victory at the season opener in Barcelona and has won every single event to date, apart from the World RX of Belgium

“We have to celebrate four titles in two years – that’s unbelievable when you think about where we were, with no team and no car just 22 months ago!," he adds. "I am so, so proud of what PSRX Volkswagen Sweden has done."

After celebrating with his team, Solberg will be heading to Rally de Esapaña [WRC of Spain] where he will be driving for Volkswagen Motorsport. “For me, I’m going back to rallying next week. I drive the Polo GTI R5 for Volkswagen Motorsport at Rally de Esapaña in Tarragona," says Solberg. "I go there to enjoy my first rally in six years with no pressure and no expectations."

Solberg sets his sights the top step of the podium in Cape Town, at the season finale: "After that, it’s south to Cape Town for the last race of the season… and I want that one. I really want that win!”

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