Petter Solberg has been thrown a small lifeline in his bid to get on the starting ramp for his home Rally Norway event after organisers gave him an extension to secure a deal.

Solberg wrote on his personal website that he has been 'flat out' preparing for the new season, although any deal announced this week would have seen him miss his home round regardless, due to the deadline for entries passing yesterday.

Regarded as a national hero in his native Norway after winning the 2003 World Rally Championship, Solberg's absence from the event will be seen as a major blow for organisers.

Nonetheless, Solberg has hinted that he is working on securing a deal before the event, even if he only has until January 13th to do it before the extension expires.

"I am very happy for the new date, but there is still a lot of work to do before we are there."

Solberg was left on the sidelines following Subaru shock announcement to withdraw from the WRC with immediate effect last month. Former team-mate Chris Atkinson will drive a Citroen C4 on the Rally Ireland.

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