Solberg tipped for WRC return in Volkswagen Polo R5

Petter Solberg, the 2003 World Rally champion, is tipped to be part of Volkswagen's driver line-up when its new Polo GT1 R5 makes its WRC debut in Spain next month.

Solberg tipped for WRC return in Volkswagen Polo R5

VW will run two of its new WRC2 cars on Rally Spain at the end of October, and has announced former M-Sport WRC driver Eric Camilli as the driver of the first.

Solberg has close ties with Volkswagen Motorsport through his PSRX outfit running VW's Polo R Supercars in the World Rallycross Championship.

He drove the Polo GTI R5 at the start of the year, completing close to 200 miles of running in a single day of winter testing in Sweden.

"I didn't want to get out of the car that day," Solberg told Motorsport.com.

"It was fantastic to be back behind the wheel of the rally car, and such a good car as well. The car was so nicely balanced, it felt fantastic to drive."

The 43-year-old has not competed in the WRC since he departed Ford's factory team bound for rallycross – where he has since won two further world titles – at the end of 2012.

He said he "would love to" be part of the VW line-up for Spain.

"OK, I have a very big focus on the World Rallycross Championship this year and that's where the priority would have to be, but the chance to come back to the World Rally Championship and compete again would be special," Solberg added.

"Spain would be an interesting event for me, I love this mixed format it runs – and I've always been quick on asphalt and gravel. Let's see what happens.

"I'm talking to Volkswagen Motorsport all the time about what we're doing [in World RX] and maybe there have been some conversations about something else…"

Rally Spain is also the venue for the last of Solberg's fellow WRC champion and RX rival Sebastien Loeb's appearances with Citroen.

VW's first announced driver Camilli has been a major part of the R5's testing programme while also contesting occasional WRC2 rounds in an M-Sport Ford this season.

He was runner-up in the secondary class in 2017 after losing his top-level seat.

Spain is currently the only race where VW plans to run a works entry in WRC2 before passing the R5 car on to customers.

The manufacturer dominated the WRC's top class from 2013-16 before abruptly pulling out in the wake of the emissions scandal in its road car division.

Petter Solberg, Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

Petter Solberg, Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

Photo by: Volkswagen Motorsport

shares
comments
Citroen targets Lappi for 2019 seat as well as Ogier

Previous article

Citroen targets Lappi for 2019 seat as well as Ogier

Next article

Neuville extends Hyundai WRC contract

Neuville extends Hyundai WRC contract
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Catalunya
Drivers Eric Camilli , Petter Solberg
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport
Author David Evans
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021