Solberg delighted by Ford switch
Norwegian returns to former employer for 2012 campaign
Petter Solberg says he’s finding it hard to express in words his delight at signing a one-year contract to drive for Ford in next season’s World Rally Championship.
Solberg, from Norway, will contest all 13 rounds of the 2012 title race in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC co-driven by Briton Chris Patterson.
In an interview with Autosport magazine in the UK, the 37-year-old Solberg said: “I can’t tell you how happy I am. It’s an incredible feeling to be back with Ford, back where it all began.”
Solberg, world champion in 2003, has already completed his first test with the M-Sport-run Ford squad in preparation for January’s Rallye Monte-Carlo.
“It was a very good start,” he said of the test in the south of France. “We had absolutely no problems, now I just can’t wait to get started on the Monte Carlo. The Monte is one of the great rallies in the sport and having it back in the championship is very important for us all.”
Solberg joined Ford as part of a young driver development programme for the 1999 season. After contesting 12 WRC events with the team he walked out to take up an offer to join Subaru midway through 2000. He was a Subaru driver until the Japanese make quit at the end of 2008, forcing Solberg to run his own private team for the past three seasons.
Ford confirmed a two-year extension to its existing WRC commitment last week. Jari-Matti Latvala will lead the Blue Oval’s attack under the Ford World Rally Team banner.
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