The Petter Solberg
World Rally Team will field a surprise name in a second car alongside the 2003 World Rally Champion on the upcoming Rallye de France – with the announcement that former World Touring Car Champion and current WTCC championship leader Yvan Muller is to make a one-off appearance on home turf in a Citroën Xsara WRC.
Solberg and co-driver Chris Patterson will drive their usual C4, whilst Muller and Gilles Mondesir will use a Xsara for the event – the same car that the Norwegian campaigned last season up to Finland, but with a new chassis. Muller/Mondesir will be entered for the rally under the Automeca banner, but their car will be run and serviced by PSWRT.
“I think this will be good fun for both our team and for Yvan,” stated Solberg. “The Xsara is extremely good on tarmac, and I'm confident Yvan will enjoy driving it. I do know him a bit from before; he is really a great guy, and also a very good driver! I'm sure we will have a great weekend in France, and a good rally.”
Frenchman Muller is currently five points clear of SEAT rival and former team-mate Gabriele Tarquini in the WTCC drivers' title chase, having switched camps to Chevrolet last winter. The 41-year-old has ten times triumphed in the Trophée Andros – a record, as are his 46 individual race victories in the ice-racing series – and has previously competed on the gruelling Dakar Rally, but the Rallye de France will represent his official WRC debut.