Anybody who complains that modern-day motorsport is devoid of personalities has clearly never met Petter Solberg.
During his rallying days, the effervescent Norwegian earned the nickname ‘Hollywood’ for both his spectacular, full-commitment driving style and his exuberant antics out of the car.
Since 2013, Solberg, the 2003 World Rally champion, has plied his trade in rallycross – and he’s a perfect fit for the all-action, made-for-TV discipline.
Driving a Citroën DS3 supercar for his own PSRX team, Solberg claimed back-to-back FIA World Rallycross Championship titles in 2014 and 2015 before losing the crown to Audi A1-driving rival Mattias Ekström last year.
For this season, Solberg has switched to the new PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team. The squad runs a pair of Volkswagen Polo GTI supercars for Solberg and Johan Kristoffersson. After a steady start to the season in the first three events, the team hit its stride at the last round in Belgium, with Kristoffersson leading Solberg home in the final.
This weekend, WorldRX heads to the storied Lydden Hill circuit. The Kent circuit was where the sport was born, as a one-off event in February 1967 designed to fill airtime on ITV’s World of Sport. This will be the final time – for now, at least – that the World Rallycross Championship will visit Lydden, with the British round switching to a new track at Silverstone next year.
We caught up with Solberg ahead of the weekend to ask about his season so far, and his experiences of racing at Lydden.
Q: How do you judge your season so far?
“It’s been fantastic. We started this project in January. It was talked about for a long time, but we only made the decision then, so there was a lot of work to get everything ready.
“We’ve shown a lot of performance, but we’ve had a few issues to sort out. Now those are done, we’ve shown a lot of performance. We’re leading the teams’ championship, which is our main goal this year, so it’s not bad.”