Solberg Fastest in Norway SS1 with 8-Year-Old Xsara

Petter Solberg managed to gain the leading position in the opening stage of Rally Norway, setting the fastest time during the night-time 1.92 kilometer Super Special. Following Subaru's withdrawal from the World Rally Championship, Solberg decided to create his own team and register for Rally Norway with an eight-year-old Citroen Xsara. The Norwegian missed the first round of the season in Ireland.

“It’s incredible! We’re back in business! That was really good fun! I even had to do a proper clutch start on the line - everybody else had launch control but with this car it’s like going back to my old rallycross days!” Solberg commented on the leading position in Thursday's opening stage according to

BP Ford Abu Dhabi Team driver Mikko Hirvonen arrived second, while Sebastien Loeb driving his Citroen C4 WRC arrived third. Hirvonen was fairly delighted with the second position and, even though he was six-tenths of a second slower than Solberg, he expressed his happiness for arriving in front of Loeb.

“It’s not much of a gap over Sebastien - but at least it’s a start! It's a great way to begin the rally but the action begins for real tomorrow in the forests. I’m happy for Petter though - I knew before the event that he’d be back fighting for the lead again,” he said.

Petter Solberg announced late on Monday that he decided to form his own team, codenamed Petter Solber World Rally Team, with Norwegian boat charter company Johs Lunde yachting to provide sponsorship for the remaining 11 rounds of the championship.

“This is a dream come true. I have wanted to put together my own WRC team for a long time, but I must admit I had not planned for it to happen in exactly these circumstances or in this timeframe. But we are ready now and I am looking forward to this weekend's test and Rally Norway,” said Solberg before the Rally Norway.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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