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Petter Solberg - Q&A

14 June 2013

Petter Solberg looks ahead to his home round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, which takes place this weekend and sees competitors head to the well-known rallycross circuit in Hell, 30 kilometres northeast of Trondheim towards the north of Norway...



Q:
Petter, how much are you looking forward to being back on home territory, for the next round of the European rallycross championship in Hell this weekend?

Petter Solberg:
I'm looking forward to it a hell of a lot!

Q:
Very funny. So what's the actual circuit like and do you have any experience of it?

Petter Solberg:
Well; actually I do but it's such a long time ago that I don't remember it! I drove there when I was competing in rallycross in 1996 then in 1999 I think we did a demonstration day there with my Toyota Celica rally car. Like I said I don't really remember it but I generally I remember it being very nice and the track going up and down quite a lot, a bit like a rally stage.

Q:
Is this the most important round of the year for you?

Petter Solberg:
They're all important but yes…this is special for sure. Not just for me but for all my sponsors: it's important for them to do well at home.

Q:
So does that lead to more pressure?

Petter Solberg:
There's always pressure wherever you go, you know? And that pressure doesn't come from the outside: it comes from me; I put it on myself. It's just because – you know me – when I do something I have to do it 100 per cent properly and flat-out. It has to be right. So there's definitely pressure but we still always enjoy ourselves a lot as well.

Q:
How disappointing was it to retire from the lead in Kouvola, when you were so close to winning the final?

Petter Solberg:
I can honestly say that this was one of the most disappointing days I have experienced in my career: it was so sad. We deserved to win: I'm not just talking about myself but I mean our whole team, who worked so hard. I don't think people recognise the effort these guys have put in: we were meant to have a car built for us this year but at the last minute we were let down and so we had to do it all by ourselves. It's been incredibly tough; one of the toughest things I have ever done. But it's only once you've experienced the big lows that you can experience the big highs.

Q:
What's been the hardest part about competing in rallycross this year?

Petter Solberg:
The technical side I think: these cars are very specialised and it's the sort of thing that takes years of experience to get right. And also the level of competition: there are some very fast and very determined drivers here, who all have a lot more experience of driving these cars than me. Still, we're trying to catch up!

Q:
What sort of future do you think that rallycross has?

Petter Solberg:
I think absolutely huge: but don't ask me: ask the guys at the promoters, IMG. These are very serious guys, if you know what I mean; they're not here to play around. There's a lot of investment and a lot of plans, especially with live TV. This sport is absolutely made for live TV and that's going to make a huge difference. What we're seeing now is really just the beginning. I always look at the crowds and you should see how many people come. It's unbelievable. I think Hell is going to be massive.

Q:
So what sort of approach are you going to be taking?

Petter Solberg:
Absolutely flat-out: as always! Honestly, I've had enough of some of the bad luck we've had so far this year – so now we're really, really going to go for it! No messing around. I'm quick enough and the car is quick enough: it's as simple as that. The people who come to watch this weekend are going to see something special I think…


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