Solberg chasing WRC return after VW test

Group Rallying Editor

Petter Solberg is chasing a return to the World Rally Championship after testing Volkswagen’s Polo GTI R5 last week.

The 2003 world champion completed almost 200 miles of running in northern Sweden, emerging from the Polo intending to contest a full WRC round for the first time since 2012.

“Honestly, the car was fantastic,” said Solberg, who has twice won the World Rallycross Championship title since changing discipline in 2013.

“It was really nice to drive, really predictable and easy to drive – this is so important for the R5 car.

“Now I have done the test in that car, I really want to drive one in competition.

“I don’t know when it might be possible and we didn’t really talk about it yet [with VW], but I would love to do that.”

Solberg was impressed by VW R5

While Solberg has not driven in the WRC since he left the factory Ford team five years ago, he has taken three Rally Sweden Historic wins in that time in a Ford Escort RS1800 and helps his 16-year-old son Oliver with his own rally career.

Solberg Jr has been tipped for a WRC debut in Wales this year and Petter admitted he liked the idea of competing on the same rally as his son.

“Maybe doing Rally GB would be good,” he said.

“If Oliver does the event, it would be a really nice story to be competing there as well. Let’s see.”

Asked if competing in WRC2 would bring less pressure than a top class return, Solberg replied: “There’s always pressure if you are competing in the world championship. The competition is good there anyway, but I would bring my own pressure to myself.”

Before any potential Polo GTI R5 outing, Solberg and his wife Pernilla will be back aboard an RS1800 for another Rally Sweden Historic outing on February 16/17.

Solberg’s PSRX team-mate – and defending World RX champion – Johan Kristoffersson will also be competing in Sweden, driving a Skoda Fabia R5 in the WRC event.

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