Petter Solberg will hope to benefit from the support of the Japanese fans when the WRC returns to Japan after a year's absence this weekend.

Solberg is a popular figure in Japan thanks to his time with the factory Subaru team and heads into this weekend's event looking to secure his first victory with his own Petter Solberg World Rally Team.

After a difficult weekend in Germany on the last round of the year, Solberg will hope to bounce back to form at the wheel of his Citroen C4 and he said he was looking forward to the event.

"It feels so good finally to back in Japan," Solberg said after a trip to the capital before the event, "and a couple of days in Tokyo are a perfect way to start the visit. I really enjoyed the time with the Japanese fans.

"Japan is one of my absolute favourites. The atmosphere is quite unique, and I really appreciate all the support we have from Japanese fans. We did a small test on Monday, and I have a good feeling with both the car and the rally. I'm really looking forward to the start on Thursday evening."