SOLBERGS TO GO HEAD TO HEAD
The Solberg family will be divided at this weekend’s Gymkhana Grid event in South Africa as Petter competes against his son Oliver for the first time.
Solberg Sr is joined by his PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team-mate Johan Kristoffersson in a brace of Polo R Supercars for the Johannesburg event. Oliver will drive the Citroen Xsara WRC his father used in the 2009 World Rally Championship.
Despite running an older car, 17-year-old Oliver is confident he can put up a good show against the might of the two-time World Rallycross title-winning team.
“I tested a lot of the time with my dad,” Oliver told MN, “we drove a lot of cars, testing a lot of the time on the frozen lake and that was really fun. But now it’s a bit different. It’s time for the competition now and it’s actually quite a strange feeling to be racing against him.
“I know it’s going to be tough, you know he and Johan have so much more power than me – they have nearly 600 horsepower and I only have 370. Don’t forget to write down that I’m in the Xsara – make sure you write how old it is!
“It’s been a long year and we’ve been travelling a lot, so to finish the season and competing at the same event will be good. And I’ve done some practice. Before we came to South Africa, I was putting the cones out and working with the Xsara on the handbrake and everything. When the competition starts, we all want to win.”
Petter admitted it would be an emotional weekend, telling
MN: “Pernilla and I have seen Oliver growing up and getting faster and faster and now when he’s going out to the car, neither of us really wants to race him anymore! Hopefully we might have a bit of an advantage with the car this weekend, but it’s going to be incredible to see him on the same entry list.
“You know I’m just proud of what he’s doing and how he’s doing it. Did he say he thought he could beat me? Maybe I need to show him, eh? ”
World RX’S dominant force Kristoffersson is looking forward to watching the family rivalry at close quarters.
“Anybody who knows the Solberg family knows it is crazy for competition and this weekend will be no different,” he said.
Oliver’s older Citroen Xsara Oliver (left) will take on his father Petter
Solberg Jr in hillclimb action