Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Out of darkness cometh Solberg
Written by PS    Monday, 09 May 2016 19:37    PDF Print E-mail
Not every weekend follows the script. Not every race results in a win.
Not every car comes out of every corner. But when the going gets tough, you can count on FIA World Rallycross Championship leader Petter Solberg. 
This weekend’s second round of World RX at Germany’s Hockenheimring was a real toughie for the triple FIA World Champion, but Petter and his PSRX crew dug deep and delivered in the most demanding of conditions. Unlike last month’s series opener in Portugal (or indeed Hockenheim last year) it wasn’t a win for Solberg – but it was a moral victory from the jaws of possible defeat.
Petter said: “That must have been the craziest semi-final AND final I have ever driven!
“I was working my way up to second place early in the final, but I was pushed out and suddenly down in last place. The cars were absolutely all over the place. I guess it’s good fun to watch on television, but from my point of view it’s not how it’s supposed to be in the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
“We really had a troublesome weekend with ups and downs all the way. We were at our very best in the third qualification race and set a new lap record, which shows our true pace. But we went on from there to struggle with the engine in qualification four. We thought the problem was solved before the semi-final and final on Sunday, but the engine proved to be without power in both races.
“We made the best out of a bad weekend and I’m happy for that. Nineteen points, fourth place and still in the championship lead is good news for us.”
The PSRX race weekend
Q1 – 5th 
Great fight with Robin Larsson, passing him for P1 on the long straight after the first corner in the opening qualifier.
Q2 – 10th
A centre differential problem affects the PSRX supercar’s handling, forcing Petter to dig deep to secure a solid time in the circumstances.
Q3 – 1st 
Perfect Petter. Took the joker on lap one, passing Andreas Bakkerud with a lovely move. In clear air, the triple FIA World Champion ran riot and set a new lap record on his way to a first qualifying win of the weekend.
Q4 – 17th 
Brilliant start puts Solberg into an immediate lead. Engine problem ends qualifying four early.
Semi-final – 2nd  
Petter delivers a fine second place, despite concerns over the engine as he sets off in the semi.
Final – 4th 
In the hunt from the start, Solberg’s progress is halted when he loses out in a chaotic race. Salvages fourth and stays in the championship lead, even with a down on power engine.
1 Mattias Ekström 5m41.7874s
2 Toomas Heikkinen 5m44.331s
3 Ken Block 5m45.611s
4 Petter Solberg 5m46.569s
5 Liam Doran 5m52.371s
6 Robin Larsson 6m16.565s
Drivers’ championship positions:
1 Solberg 48pts
= Ekström 48pts
3 Heikkinen 45pts
4 Kristoffersson 39pts
5 Larsson 34pts
6  Loeb 30pts
Next time out World RX of Belgium (May 14/15)
It’s just 8636 minutes before Petter winds the boost up on his PSRX supercar for the third time this season and the second time in a week. Belgium’s next on the list, offering an opportunity to go one better than last year’s second place in the final at Circuit Jules Tacheny. And now it’s just 8635 minutes…
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