TWO GREATS ON RALLY GB
This week’s World RX of Great Britain will offer Petter Solberg the opportunity to settle the score with Sebastien Loeb.
For 11 years the pair competed in the World Rally Championship in similar machinery – even if three of Solberg’s last four years were in a private car. From 2002 to 2005 Solberg beat the Frenchman on Rally GB. Loeb missed the 2006 event with his injured shoulder, but when he came back to the Welsh woods, he had the edge over the Norwegian.
The pair both retired in 2011, but when they have started and finished the rally in a World Rally Car, Loeb has beaten Solberg five times, while the defending World RX champion beat the then Citroen-driving hero four times.
These two provided one of the most entertaining and nail-biting finishes to Britain’s WRC round in 2004, when Solberg trailed Loeb by 3.5 seconds going into the final gravel stage of the rally, Margam Park.
A huge effort from Solberg and co-driver Phil Mills left them an astonishing 9.2s faster than Loeb in a performance that won them the rally. “I never forget that stage,” said Solberg. “There was nothing left, we were absolutely flat, flat out. We took some risks and pushed like hell. I knew he would be pushing as well. I like that win.”