Could Bettega run be Solberg’s last in a Citroen?
Norwegian privateer looking at alternative options for 2012
Petter Solberg could drive a Citroen DS3 WRC in competition for the final time when he contests the Garnier Fructis Memorial Bettega rallysprint event at the Bologna Motor Show in Italy from tomorrow (Saturday).
The 2003 world champion, who has campaigned privateer Citroens in the WRC since 2009, will take part in the knockout competition that pays tribute to Attilio Bettega. The former Lancia factory driver lost his life in an accident on Tour de Corse in 1985.
Solberg, from Norway, is a regular in the end-of-season shootout and finished a close second last year. With no firm deal in place for the 2012 world championship season, this weekend’s run could be his last in a Citroen after he told Motorsport News in the UK that he no longer wants to run a privateer team in the WRC and that a move to Ford was his only option for a drive in 2012.
“I have one chance for next year and that is with Malcolm [Wilson, the Ford team boss],” Solberg told Motorsport News. “I don’t want to do a privateer team any more.”
Solberg will face opposition in Bologna from Ford Fiesta RS WRC ace Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke, who will pilot a MINI John Cooper Works WRC. Meeke finished runner-up to Dani Sordo on his Memorial Bettega debut in 2008 when he drove a Citroen Xsara WRC.
Other competitors include MotoGP ace Andrea Dovizioso (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), world motocross champion Tony Cairoli (Citroen DS3 WRC) and Italian veterans Piero Longhi and Luca Pedersoli, who will drive a MINI John Cooper Works WRC and a Citroen DS3 WRC respectively.
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