Petter Solberg

Petter Solberg ( born November 18, 1974 in Askim ) is a Norwegian rally driver and former Rallycross and mountain racer. He won the World Rally Championship in 2003.

  • 4.1 Title
  • 4.2 WRC victories
  • 4.3 WRC results
  • 4.4 IRC results


First motorsport successes

Petter Solberg began in motorsports with RC cars and in 1987 at the age of 13 years, Norwegian champion. From toy cars he got 18 years to correct cars. 1992, just one day after his passing the driving test, Petter debuted at a Bilcross run. 1993, he took his second Bilcross race that he won. He then moved into the national Norwegian Rallycross scene to participate in a Ford Escort Mk II Rally Cross races and hill climbs on gravel. In 1994, he won the title of the Norwegian runner- in both disciplines. For 1995, Petter rose in the great national series, his car was a Volvo 240 Turbo, which was, however, equipped with a naturally aspirated engine ( due to the regulations were not allowed turbocharger ). Petter developed into a recognized driver. He won a total of 19 of 21 races and was Norwegian mountain and Rallycross champion. The Scandinavian Supernasjonal - mountain title he just missed.

In 1996 he repeated this three hits, won 15 of 19 races, and secured two more master and a runner-up title. Solberg was considered a beacon of hope in motorsport. The Norwegians saw him as the new " Mister Rallycross " by Martin Schanche, a national hero. Petter Solberg was named by the media after his place of residence with the nickname " Spydeberg -express ". This was originally the Norwegian ex- rally driver John Unnerud, who also came from Spydeberg.

Change from rallycross to rallying

Petter Solberg's rally debut was with a Volvo 240 ( Volvo Original class ) at the Norwegian Rally Bjørkelangen of 1995, the current wife of his brother Henning, the Swede Maud (former name Tidemand ), acted as co-driver. In 1996, his brother Henning its own Toyota Celica ST165 left to attend the rally Hedemarken in Norway, the car destroyed by a rollover in Petter. In late 1996, Petter Solberg adopted from the Rallycross sports because it is a Toyota Celica ST185 was provided for 1997, which was previously driven by the Swede Thomas " Radis " Rådström. This was again won by the Norwegian Petter Bergmeister and finished in 5th place in the Norwegian Rally Championship. In 1998, he secured with a Toyota Celica ST205 Norwegian Rally title. He made a 16th place finish at the members of the World Rally Championship Rally Sweden for the first time international attention.

1999-2000: WRC- entry with Ford

Even in 1998 caused Solberg's mentor John "Mr Škoda " Haugland that Ford took the then 23 -year-old Norwegian talent a little more closely. After Petter could put in the limelight with a Ford - comparison test, he was offered a place for three years by the British factory team. Solberg's new co- pilot was the Briton Phil Mills. His first WRC Solberg Ford had use for the start of 1999 at the Rally Sweden. He finished in eleventh place with a Ford Escort WRC. He subsequently received a new Ford Focus WRC. Immediately on his first WRC rally with the vehicle, the Rally Safari, he scored the fifth place and took his first two WRC points. This was followed in 1999 four more appearances at WRC- runs, but where he remained without points. 2000 Solberg drove in six appearances for Ford three times in the points.

2000-2001: Change to Subaru

Since Solberg's contract with Ford was rechtilich not secure enough, he could prematurely switch to Subaru during the 2000 season. There he graduated with the Subaru Impreza WRC, the last four rounds of the season, but at points he came no more. The 2000 season ended with a total of six points Solberg on the tenth championship course. 2001 Solberg denied first complete season in the World Rally Championship. The season began with some accidents and technical failures. He was in the Rally of Greece, mid-season, second, and first came to the podium of the WRC. By the end of the season he had retracted eleven points and repeated his tenth place in the World Cup.

2002-2005: Arrived in the world rankings

As of the 2002 season, Solberg showed constant performance and drove regularly in the points. At the Rally Argentina, the sixth rally of the year, he won second place with his next podium. Especially in the second half of the season he became increasingly successful. In third place in the Rally Finland, the San Remo Rally and the Rally Australia was followed by the season finale in Wales, the first victory in the WRC. In the fight for the world championship Solberg could not intervene. Marcus Gronholm was already too far ahead in the points standings. Solberg but still managed to advance to the second championship course and to be the "Best of the Rest ".

The 2003 season began with Solberg third places in New Zealand and Greece as the best results. The turning point came half of the season in the Rally of Cyprus, from which he emerged as the winner. This was followed by a second place in the Rally of Finland and wins in Australia and in Corsica. Solberg fought a close duel with the emerging Sébastien Loeb to the World Cup. In the decisive Wales Rally Solberg won ahead of Loeb and won by one point, the World Rally Championship in 2003. Solberg was the first Norwegian who won the world title in the WRC.

Solberg won the 2004 WRC five runs, including rallies in New Zealand, Greece, Japan, Wales and in Sardinia. Three failures in a row mid-season threw him back in the title fight. His rival Loeb, who hardly afforded error, broke away in the points standings and was finally a clear margin champion. Solberg was runner-up in 2004.

In early 2005, Solberg won the Rally in Sweden and the Rally Mexico, he took over the championship lead. A little later he lost the lead in the championship to the Citroën drivers Sébastien Loeb. In 2005, Solberg won the Rally Wales. In this rally co-driver Michael Park Markko Märtins died in a accident. Then provoked previously the front Solberg Loeb a time penalty, not to win under these circumstances and prematurely to become world champion. End of the season Solberg had several unlucky when he failed each lying in the lead at the Rally Japan and the Rally Australia. At the end of the season Solberg was again runner-up. He placed himself because of the greater number of victories against the same points Marcus Grönholm.

2006-2008: Lack of competitiveness

2006 Solberg was given a new version of the Subaru Impreza WRC. The vehicle was too slow and unreliable, so he was unable to repeat the results of the previous year. Solberg completed the first time since 2001, a winless season and also reached the podium, he only occasionally. His best results were second places in Mexico, Argentina and Australia, as well as a third place in Wales. In the championship, he finished at the end of the season in sixth place. Solberg celebrated this season his 100th WRC start.

Prevented Also in 2007, the vehicle successes. From the fourth race of the season went Solberg a new evolutionary step, which did not yield any great improvement in the results. In the early stage of the season he had several failures that took the chance on possible podium finishes him. In the Rally of Portugal Solberg moved from fourth to second place before, after the Ford factory drivers were transported back because of a penalty. A strong rally denied Solberg in Greece where he drove to third place. In the later course of the season Solberg came true constant in the points, but could not quite classify forward to. At the end of the year he was on the fifth championship course.

In the 2008 season, Solberg started with fifth place at the Monte Carlo Rally and fourth place in the Rally of Sweden well, but he was thrown back in the next four rallies of accidents and technical problems. From the seventh race of the season, in Greece, Subaru provided him with a completely new car available that now no longer had as its predecessors, a saloon, but a hatchback. At his WRC debut with the new Impreza Solberg pointed to the potential of the new vehicle and achieved second place, which he first stood for a year on the podium again. In the remaining eight rallies of the season he drove continuously in the points, but where he succeeded no further podium. At the end of the season, he finished behind his teammate Christopher Atkinson sixth place in the championship.

2009-2011: As a privateer Citroën

On 16 December 2008 Subaru announced that it would withdraw due to falling sales figures from the World Rally Championship. Solberg, who had a contract until 2009 with Subaru, lost his job. There he found a place in any factory team, he built within a short time on his own Petter Solberg World Rally Team.

After Solberg Rally Ireland, the beginning of the 2009 season left out, he was there again in the following rally in Norway. Only a few weeks before the rally acquired a Citroën Xsara WRC Solberg from the year 2006. With the comparatively old car and a small private team he was surprisingly competitive. After the sixth overall at Citroën debut in Norway he achieved already at the next rally in Cyprus with third place his first podium result as a privateer. He then drove a fourth place at the Rally Portugal. Before the Rally Sardinia he received for his Xsara an engine upgrade to the 2006 specification, to counteract decreasing engine performance at high temperatures. In Sardinia, he celebrated a podium finish with third place again after the Loeb placed in front of him fell back because of a penalty. Next, he reached a good result in the Rally of Poland with fourth place. Technical problems prevented further success. For the last two rounds of the season Solberg moved the car and drove a Citroën C4 WRC. With his new car, he reached the fourth place in the Rally of Catalonia. For the season finale in Wales, he received a place in the Citroën Junior Team and won fourth place. The 2009 World Cup ended Petter Solberg in fifth position as the best-placed privateer.

For the 2010 season Solberg bought two Citroën C4 WRC, which were on the technical level of 2009. He wanted to ride again for the top spots in the World Cup, which he succeeded despite the low budget. After a disappointing start to the season in second place followed by Sweden at the Rally Mexico and thus the best result since 2008. Also at the Rally Jordan he could ride as the pace of the second peak in third place and in the Rally of Turkey. After the Rally of Portugal was Solberg's co-driver Phil Mills, after eleven years of joint work, his immediate retirement from active rallying known. From the Rally Bulgaria Solberg drove with Chris Patterson in the passenger seat. In the first joint rally in Bulgaria Solberg and Patterson reached the third place. At the end of the season went Solberg four times in a row on the podium. First, he reached only narrowly beaten second place in Japan, then he finished third in France and the last two rallies in 2010, Catalonia and Wales, he finished as runner each. Overall, Solberg came in 8 out of 13 rallies to the podium, a hoped-for victory remained, however, denied. He reached third place in the championship and thus its best finish since 2005.

In January 2011, Solberg was a guest appearance at the Rallye Monte Carlo in the Peugeot factory team. After he was meanwhile in second place, he had to give up just before the end with a technical defect.

Then he went into the 2011 season as a privateer Citroen DS3 WRC with a. After a luckless start of the season he reached in the Rally Sardinia with his first podium in third place. At the rally Greece he was after the first day in the lead, but then had for its first launch site the " street sweeper " play and dropped back to fourth place. His next podium finish he managed at the Rally Australia, where he finished third overall. This placement he succeeded in the Rally of France. A few hours after the rally Petter Solberg was excluded from the event and the third rank withdrawn. The reason was that his car was weighed at the post- weigh-in than four kilogram to easily. At the Rally Catalunya, he was eliminated in the first qualifier. In a tight corner he cut too tight and tore at an obstacle a wheel. In Britain, he did not reach the target. At the end of the season took Solberg, as the best-placed privateer, ranked fifth in the drivers' standings.

2012 factory driver for Ford

On December 15, 2011 Petter Solberg signed a contract, valid for the 2012 season, the Ford World Rally Team. As number two behind team-mate Jari -Matti Latvala, he achieved his best result at this traditional event at the Monte Carlo Rally with the third overall.

Withdrawal from the WRC 2013

On December 4, 2012 Solberg gave the press announced that he adopted from the World Rally Championship. He was ready at Ford to drive without a fee, but not to fund his driver seat itself. About his future racing future he informed the media on 31 January 2013. In a press release, he announced that he built a Citroën DS3 as Rallycross SuperCar, with whom he played in 2013, the four Global X Games. In addition, he will continue his motorsport career in either the American Global Rallycross Championship or in the FIA ​​European Rallycross Championship.

Pikes Peak

In an interview with the American broadcaster THS Radio Solberg announced in December 2010 that he with one developed by our own team prototype called PS FX ( for Petter Solberg and his French chief engineer François Xavier Demaison ) in June 2011 at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb would like to participate in the U.S.. Due to scheduling difficulties between the WRC events he postponed his plan to the year 2012.


Petter Solberg had given up a program begun training as a painter and decorator in favor of his racing career. "Mr. Hollywood", as he was nicknamed, coming from Spydeberg in Østfold, just 50 kilometers east of Oslo located. He has his official residence since 2003 in Monaco. Solberg comes from a family that had dedicated to motor sports. It is connected by marriage with Pernila, with the known in Scandinavia Swedish Rally and Rallycross family Walfridsson. Pernila is one of the two daughters of former Volvo factory driver (Volvo R- Team ) Per-Inge "Pi" Walfridsson (including FIA Rallycross European champion in 1980 and fourth in the RAC Rally of 1973 ). Pernillas father was the financial adviser of Petter Solberg and led, among others, whose aircraft rental company PS Aviation AB, based in Sweden Torsby. The two younger and also auto sports-loving brothers of Per-Inge Walfridsson hot Lars -Erik Stig- Olov Walfridsson and Walfridsson and are therefore the uncle of Pernilla. Under her birth name Pernilla Walfridsson Petters wife was true even for several years as one of the best rally drivers in the world. No less than four times World Rally Champion Tommi Mäkinen they classified, according to information from Petter Solberg as the second fastest woman behind Michèle Mouton, a. Petter and Pernilla have a son who already own in the media spotlight is a 9 -year-old Cross Kart racers in Norway. The parents of Petter Solberg, both mother Tove and father Terje, took several years to Bilcross race part (Eng. autocross ). In Norway, a Rallycross League for smaller budgets. So son Petter came early to the taste of rallying and he was working with as a mechanic, as well as his almost two year older brother Henning Solberg, who mitfährt in the World Rally Championship since 1998.


Solberg won the election to Norway's Aftenposten Athlete of the Year as well as the gold medal in 2003.



WRC victories

WRC results

IRC results