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29 Mar 2013

Way of the Dragon

Category: ERC, News Posted 29.03.13 22:56 by

Petter Solberg’s back, and is reigniting the spirit of Bruce Lee in order to “bring back his own fighting spirit.” Petter claims that he “hasn’t been this motivated for years”, and as ERX Round 1 approaches, ERC24 caught up with the Norwegian.

 

Making his full return to the FIA European Rallycross Championship this season, it’s fair to see that many fans are brimming with excitement over the prospect of seeing Petter Solberg battling it out for the 2013 title.

Petter Solberga.k.a. ‘Mr Hollywood’, has made his mark in the WRC, gaining the World title in 2003, he now returns to his Rallycross roots to compete in a brand new Citroën DS3 SuperCar. Solberg released pictures yesterday of the car’s first European test held at the Circuit L’Ouest Parisien at Dreux in France on their route to Lydden Hill.

Many have noticed the use of images of Bruce Lee on his new DS3, and Petter stands by his decision to use the Kung-Fu film star as motivation to perform:  “We wanted to try something new and exciting, and therefore Bruce Lee is perfect. I hope to bring his fighting spirit into it all. I think this shit is kinda cool! I’ve seen a lot of Bruce Lee movies in my life. There are many great quotes from his short life, quotes that suit us.”

 

With a strong field of competitors, including last seasons runner-up and reigning champion Timur Timerzyanov, who do you think will be your biggest threat this year?

  • “I have a lot of respect for the RX sport. When I watched Timur Timerzyanov at Höljes last year, I became extremely impressed by his achievements. There will be several drivers on fire this season.”

 

As a former WRC winner you are clearly a threat to many competitors, does this give you more pressure to perform well?

  • “Most of the pressure I place on myself. Off course I am nervous, and maybe I am more nervous than I had expected in advance. But still I am confident with my own capabilities, and I haven’t been this motivated for years.”

 

Talk us through the new DS3, what do you think makes it so competitive and better than other DS3s in the championship?

  • “That’s easy: Attention to details. Simon Levett has done a fantastic job. Bespoke parts have come in from all over the world, while a number of completely new solutions have been devised by Levett. We have been very dedicated to lightweight parts and materials. Our goal was to make the best ever RX car.”

 

You have a Rallycross heritage, what is so special about the sport?

  • “The fact that I am close to the fans, the great fights on the track, lots of action, the extreme engines. It’s a SHOW! And that fits me perfect.”

 

Rallycross has taken off in the States, would you consider competing over there for X Games or GRC? I t would of course be great to see you battle it out with former rivals such as Sébastien Loeb.

  • “Yes, X Games is very interesting, and my wish is to compete in a couple of X Games events. And should I be so lucky to bump into some old friends on a new arena, I would be very happy.”

 

A lot of people are talking about the brotherly rivalry with Henning, has there always been competition between you two? Could you see Henning making a full move to RX next season?

  • “We have always been competing, and as a big brother Henning has given me a lot of challenges. I have a lot to thank him for, and I hope he will join RX full season.”

 

Are you proud to be representing ‘Team Norway’ in RallycrossRX, there is so much great young talent from Norway in RX this year, why do you think this has always been the case?

  • “No doubt that Martin Schanche made the sport very popular back in Norway in his glory days. Stock car and go-cart have been very popular in Norway for a long time, and that has been a super starting arena for a lot of talent.”

 

Who has been your Rallycross idol over the years?

  • “At young age I looked up to Schanche and his achievements. I was also inspired by Ludvig Hunsbedt, Eivind Opland and Bjørn Skogstad.”

 

Thank you for the interview!

 

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