2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg looks ahead to this weekend's opening round of the all-new FIA World Rallycross Championship in Portugal...
I love challenges and after becoming World Rally champion in 2003, trying to win the World RX title in 2014 is the second biggest challenge of my life. That's because it's not just me but my team that's going for gold this year. For 2014 we've got a new name, PS 110 per cent, and a second Citroen DS3 Supercar for our new driver, Alexander Hvaal from Norway. And we can't wait to get started.
It's a hell of a lot of work involved in putting this all together, but we're going to be ready for the first round in Portugal and that's why we've moved into the workshop to live. It's a proper place, with beds and showers but we just wanted to be hands-on together with all the mechanics, all the team, just to show them all how much we want it.
The team looks fantastic and we had a two-day test in France over the weekend just to find the feeling with the cars and the tyres. And having Alex in the team is also very good news. We had four drivers who wanted to drive and I basically picked the fastest one and that's it, very simple. He won two races last year, he was consistent, he's fit, he's motivated, just right for my team.
For sure we have more experience in the second year, particularly with all we have learned with Alex's car in 2013. I will have a new car, which is not far away from a World Rally Car but with double the horsepower of course.
We had some problems with the reliability in the first half of last season and, to be honest, we shouldn't have started the season but joined later when everything was sorted out. That really could have helped us. I knew the car was good but we had a lot of engine problems and then in Finland, when we were leading, one bolt in the front suspension came out and that was it. But at the end of the season we had no problems and we did almost 200 kilometres after the season had finished, developing things for this year.
We have done a lot of updates with the cars for 2014, such as in the suspension, geometry and a little bit in the engine. As soon as Alex is happy with the chassis and engine then I'm happy. I want performance out of him for the team and it's important everything is right for him.
World RX is in a really good place right now with a lot of drivers going in this direction. You have Jacques Villeneuve and now Mattias Ekstrom, a high-level driver in racing, coming for this year. And Jenson Button has said he's interested in the future with the history of his father from rallycross. That's why it's really good to be here at the start of this exciting new era of World RX to learn the tricks, develop and make our name.