Petter Solberg has successfully defended his FIA World Rallycross championship title by claiming third place at the final round of the season in Argentina.
With a comfortable 26-point advantage over his sole rival for the crown Timmy Hansen heading into the season finale, Solberg duly clinched a second consecutive World RX championship at the intermediate classification stage and with the pressure off celebrated his achievement with third place in the final of the Rallycross of Argentina.
“It's unbelievable to win another championship – and I want to thank my hard working team, who have travelled all round the world with me and share my passion for this fantastic sport,” Solberg said. “It is not easy winning your second World RX title: nothing in rallycross is certain and I have been a bag of nerves today. Rallycross is full of talented drivers and my team have fought so hard for this all year.”
Sweden's Robin Larsson became the eighth different winner in World RX this season by claiming the top spot on the podium in South America, with DTM driver Mattias Ekstrom taking second place ahead of reigning champion Solberg.
Hansen, who needed to win in Argentina and for Solberg to miss the final to stand any realistic chance of overturning the points deficit, eventually finished sixth behind Lativa's Janis Baumanis and younger brother Kevin Hansen in fifth after the pair clashed during the final race.
Solberg, who has notched up his third FIA world title to go alongside his 2003 WRC crown and last year's World RX triumph, says he will aim to do all he can to make the 2016 World RX grid as he targets a hat-trick of World RX championships.
“We have a lot of meetings coming up, and with some manufacturers, so we will see what happens,” he said. “What is most important is that I have a fantastic team and family that support me. I will be back in 2016 for sure.”