Petter Solberg has confirmed he will not run as a privateer in the World Rally Championship next season - and that his only hope is Ford.
Solberg, who won the Bettega Memorial Rallysprint in Bologna on Sunday, finishing ahead of MotoGP star, Andrea Dovizioso and Britain's Kris Meeke, in second and third respectively, added that his outing there was his final one in a Citroen, and possibly his last ever rally.
“I'm so happy with the victory,” Petter told his official website. “Bologna Motorshow is a great event, so I'm especially happy with a win here.
“It's been two good days, with a lot of excitement and thrilling duels, so it feels extra good to be the winner.”
Solberg had finished second the night before in the Memorial Bettega Night Sprint, which was won by Meeke. In total eight cars took part in the event.
“That's it now: Ford is my only option [for 2012],” Solberg added in an interview with maxrally.com
. “Whatever happens, I've driven my last event in a Citroen
– and maybe my last rally. I can't run again as a privateer; it has to be a factory seat next year or I'm looking elsewhere: maybe Le Mans.
“But I want to stay in rallying – I'm talking with [Ford / M-Sport boss] Malcolm Wilson and we're working hard.”
Meanwhile, it has been reported by Autosport.com
that Solberg will test a Ford Fiesta RS WRC car on Thursday this week.
Solberg last drove for Ford in 2000, but left mid-season for Subaru, the team he won the WRC drivers' title with in 2003.
Ford has yet to announce whether or not it will continue in the WRC in 2012, although the deadline for manufacturers' to register is next Monday [December 19].
Asked about the current situation and speculation linking Solberg to the seat alongside Jari-Matti Latvala, a Ford spokesperson told Crash.net
: 'Ford has still not made any announcement about its future in the WRC, and until a decision is made we are unable to make any comments about drivers.'
More to follow as and when it develops...