Former World Rally champion Petter Solberg has confirmed that he will contest the opening round of the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship and potentially follow that series throughout the year.
The event, which takes place at the UK's famous Lydden Hill venue between 31 March and 1 April, will see Solberg driving a Citroën DS3 Supercar built and run by his own team, and could be the precursor to a career switch after the Norwegian called time on his WRC involvement after failing to hold on to his Ford ride for 2013.
The move from rally to rallycross is not unique but, while the switch of disciplines has been something new for other rally stars, it is more of a homecoming for Solberg, who began his career in rallycross and has often said he would return before hanging up his driving boots.
“It feels a bit like getting back to my roots,” Solberg said before reaching his decision on which series to contest, “My motorsport career started with rallycross and, in 1996, I actually considered the European Rallycross series for my long-term future. I devoted 15 years of my life to rallying before calling an end to it in December last year and I have received many offers to drive in various forms of motorsport, cars and teams since that announcement.
“However, rallycross is the coolest sport. It's a place where I can be myself. Once again I can work closely with my sponsors, be very close to the fans, have my own team of qualified people, and be my own boss. It is a great mix.”
Solberg's opposition has yet to be fully revealed by Martin Anayi, managing director of RallycrossRX is delighted to have secured the Norwegian.
“We are extremely pleased that Petter has committed to competing in the first round of the championship,” he said, “He is part of a fantastic line-up of drivers which we will be announcing in the coming weeks.”