Having flirted with the idea of switching to a Ford Focus for the 2010 World Rally Championship (WRC), former champion Petter Solberg has now confirmed that he is likely to run a Citroën C4 – as he focuses on putting the final pieces of his budget for the year into place.
Left without a drive following the withdrawal of the Subaru World Rally Team at the end of 2008, Solberg entered eight of the first ten events of 2009 in a privately-run Xsara WRC – impressively achieving a brace of podiums along the way, in Cyprus and Sardinia – and his performances earned the 2003 title-winner a run in a Citroën Junior Team C4 WRC for the final two events in Spain and Britain, on both of which he came home fourth.
However, with no manufacturer-backed vacancies and no opening in the Red Bull-backed Citroën Junior Team, the Norwegian has resigned himself to flying solo once more in 2010 under the Petter Solberg World Rally Team banner. The 35-year-old has been working hard behind-the-scenes to raise sufficient budget to campaign either a C4 like 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, or a Ford Focus RS WRC.
“Most of my efforts at the moment are spent on getting the rest of the money together,” Solberg told the official WRC website, admitting that he is 70 per cent of the way towards his target. “That's the main thing, and right now Citroën have offered me the best deal for 2010 – but the final decision hasn't been made yet.
“A lot depends on the amount of support I get from the manufacturers. I had expected Ford to give my team some help, but the situation is difficult, and it looks more like Citroën now. I haven't discussed anything detailed for next year yet. Yes, Raikkonen will be with the Junior Team, but for me, I will have my own team.”