2003 World Rally Champion Petter Solberg
will continue his campaign in the all-new FIA European Rallycross Championship this weekend, when he heads to Portugal for round two.
'Hollywood' will once more be at the wheel of his self-built, all-carbon Citroen
DS3 Supercar and he will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the bad luck that struck him on the opening round of the championship at Lydden Hill in England, when only a power steering failure prevented him from sensationally reaching the final on his rallycross debut.
“As usual, we've been working non-stop since we got back from England to try and fix all the things we found at Lydden Hill,” Solberg said. “We've got a lot of work still to do on this car, but to be really honest, it was a miracle that we were able to be out and competitive on the first round at all.
“It wasn't easy – in fact it's been the hardest thing I've ever done – but we've got the best guys in the world and I know that they'll get to the bottom of everything. It just takes time.
“We've not just put in all our efforts: we've put all our hearts into this car too, if you see what I mean? It means everything to succeed.
“So we're absolutely determined to get it right.”
On the job list was a misfiring engine, driveshaft problem, and of course an investigation into the power steering problem that held 'Hollywood' back at Lydden Hill. But while they say that 'Rome wasn't built in a day', it shouldn't really be possible to build a rallycross car from scratch in three weeks either. Yet that's exactly what Petter's dedicated team did - and now they have to build on that progress, starting this weekend at the Montealgre rallycross circuit in northern Portugal.
“I've got some fantastic memories of Portugal: I've competed in this country eight times before in the WRC and I've always really loved it,” Petter added. “We were actually leading the rally last year in the WRC, so why not the same again in rallycross?
“Okay, rallycross is a completely different challenge, but at least we go into the Portugal round a little bit better prepared than we did for Lydden Hill.
“Unlike everyone else it will be completely new for me again, so we'll just go into it with the same attitude that we always have: 110 per cent, determined to do the best we can, and making sure that all the fans go home with something to remember!”