Solberg completes Citroen stint with victory
“Whatever happens, I’ve driven my last event in a Citroen”
Petter Solberg has signed off from his stint as a Citroen driver by winning the Garnier Fructis Memorial Bettega rallysprint in Italy for the first time on Sunday.
The Norwegian, a Citroen privateer in the World Rally Championship since the start of the 2009 season, defeated MotoGP ace Andrea Dovizioso in the final of the shootout event, which pays tribute to former Lancia factory driver Attilio Bettega, who was killed in a crash on Tour de Corse in 1985.
Dovizioso, in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, was driving a World Rally Car for the first time and qualified for the final by defeating factory Ford team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala in the first semi-final. Solberg, meanwhile, progressed to the final by beating MINI WRC Team ace Kris Meeke in the second semi-final.
Afterwards Solberg, who is still working to secure a deal for the 2012 WRC season, said: “Whatever happens, I’ve driven my last event in a Citroen - and maybe my last rally. I can’t run again as a privateer; it has to be a factory seat next year or I’m looking elsewhere: maybe Le Mans. But I want to stay in rallying - I’m talking with [Ford principal] Malcolm Wilson and we’re working hard.”
Meeke’s victory in the Memorial Bettega Night Sprint event on Saturday marked a successful return to Bologna for the ace Northern Irishman following his debut at the end-of-season spectacular in 2008.
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