2003 World Rally champion Petter Solberg lies third overall following the opening day of round six of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at Holjes in Sweden, despite more engine problems.

Just as was the case at the last round in Hell, Norway, 'Hollywood' won the opening heat by a considerable margin, bringing his Citroen DS3 Supercar home three seconds ahead of his closest pursuer.

This was Solberg's sixth heat victory of the season so far, underlining the Norwegian's breathtaking pace during his first season of rallycross since 1996.

The second heat didn't go quite so well however. Once more he took the lead at the beginning of the race, thanks to a great move through the final turn, and he soon set about extending his advantage. He was able to do that commandingly, but then suddenly he lost engine power and his Citroen dramatically slowed.

Related Articles

Solberg finished the second heat tenth, but combined with his win in the opening heat this still means that he heads into Sunday holding third overall with everything to play for.

"I don't know what exactly happened: suddenly the engine went on to about half of the usual power and there was absolutely nothing I could do," explained the former Crash.net columnist. "The boys are going to have a good look at it tonight and I'm confident that they will be able to find a solution because they are the very best at what they do.

"I have to say, the thing that has impressed me most is the crowd here. It's definitely the biggest and best crowd that I've driven in front of since I started in rallycross. Their enthusiasm is amazing and it really drives me on.

"As a driver, that's the best feeling ever. When you have a crowd like this you absolutely want to put on the best show possible, so I hope that people have enjoyed everything they've seen today."

"I promise one thing for Sunday: I'm going to be absolutely and totally flat-out from start to finish," he added. "Like everyone in the team, I'm really hungry for my first win in rallycross. We've come so close before, just to be let down by small problems. I know that this win is going to happen very soon though, which is amazing as this is our first season, and it would be fantastic if we could achieve it here, in front of all these great fans who have given us such fantastic support."

Heats three and four take place on Sunday morning, while the final will be run in the afternoon.