Phil Mills Retires from Co-Driver Role for Petter Solberg
The news was made official via a statement from the 47-year old Brit, who has co-driven for world champion Seolberg ever since 1999. Together they've won a title back in 2003 and driven to 13 wins in 152 WRC starts, which are some impressive figures in the series. In 9 rounds, the pair would have broken the world record for the longest-lasting partnership in the WRC, currently held by Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya (161).
“This has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, but I feel the time has come to concentrate on other parts of my life,” said Mills earlier today, leaving Solberg with the tough job of having to find a replacement for his long-time co-driver for the rest of the 2010 season.
“We have competed on 152 events over the past 11 years and it has become more of a way of life than a job. I have enjoyed every single kilometre through the highs and lows that came along and I am sure Petter will win many more events in the future, given the right circumstances. I will miss the whole WRC scene very much and wish Petter and the team very great success in the future,” added the British co-driver.
“Phil is leaving the team and I feel really sad about that. I think it will be really difficult to find a co-driver with his skills to join me in my car again,” said Solberg.
“We have been together for so many years, I've had him by my side for most of my career, so this is a tough break for me. Looking back on what we have achieved together, I feel especially sorry as I was sure our next win would happen this season and I was hoping to have Phil by my side when it happens.”
“He has been the one who has meant the most for me through my driving career. Our relationship must have been the strongest between driver and co-driver ever!” concluded the Norwegian champion.