Subaru World Rally team driver, Petter Solberg will have only one aim this weekend on the Monte Carlo Rally, to get the defence of his 2003 WRC crown off to the best of starts, and the Norwegian has already pledged he is 'hungrier than ever' despite winning his first title last year at the Rally GB.

"Well, I start the year as World Champion, but in terms of driving it makes no difference to me at all," said Solberg, "Some people have asked if I can afford to take it easy now, but I know there are areas that I can improve on and there's still a lot of hard work to do."

The start of the WRC campaign last year though was far from positive for 'Hollywood' and he retired in two of the opening three events, something he won't want a repeat of 2004.

"I'm planning for things to be different this year, so I'm changing my strategy for the opening rounds," he said, "Last year I would have been fighting for first place from the very first stage, but now I think that's not the best way to be, so don't be surprised if I'm not in the points after the first day."

Solberg's previous outings in the Principality have been far from dazzling, his best finish thus far was a sixth achieved in 2002, but now as reigning champ, and team leader, he will be pulling out all the stops to improve on that.

"Monte Carlo has not been the best rally for me in the past and I've yet to prove myself in the first few events of the season," he added, "In fact, after Turkey last year [round three] I think I only had three points in total!

"One good thing though is that I never feel any pressure in the early part of the season as I'm not someone that people look at to be leading at this point! That said, I'm hungrier than ever for success now and am very keen to get back in the car. I have a good feeling right now, I'm relaxed and just thinking about driving."

The Rallye Monte Carlo begins proper this Friday.

 

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