Petter Solberg tar med seg storebror Henning til bakkeløpet Simola Hillclimb i Knysna i Sør-Afrika til helgen, og dermed stiller begge brødrene Solberg til start.
Volkswagen Sør Afrika har skaffet tilveie en av bilprodusentenes tidligere Rallycross Supercars som Petter og Johan Kristoffersson kjørte for noen år siden. Den skal Petter kjøre. Så har han den Sør Afrikanbske importøren også skaffet en VW Golf til Henning, av uviss kvalitet.
-Da Volkswagen spurte meg om jeg ønsket å delta og kjøre en VW Polo R Supercar føltes det bare ufattelig. Jeg ser virkelig frem til å være med på showet og gjenforenes med denne fantastiske bilen, sier Petter Solberg.
-Jeg vet ikke hvordan den bilen jeg skal kjøre er. Jeg skulle opprinnelig bare være med Petter på en guttetur, men nå ender jeg opp som deltaker, gliser Henning.
Bakken det kjøres er 1.800 meter lang og har asfalt som underlag. Andre Bezuidenhou har bakkerekorden med den utrolige tiden 34,161 sekunder, som gir en gjennomsnittshastighet på 201.18 km/t fra stående start. Bezuidenhou kjører en formelbil, spesialbygd for bakkeløp og har vært totalvinner av løpet fem ganger.
Pressemelding fra Petter Solberg:
Solberg(s) ready to race in South Africa
Three-time FIA world champion Petter Solberg will be back behind the wheel for a special weekend at the Simola Hillclimb in South Africa next week.
Having secured the services of the Norwegian star, Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa is taking one of its most famous cars for him to drive: the Polo R Supercar Johan Kristoffersson used to win the 2017 World RX title.
Seven-time Norwegian Hillclimb Champion Petter won’t however, be the only Solberg in town as his brother Henning will also compete on the 1.9-kilometre hill in Knysna, Western Cape.
“The guys at Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa are so professional,” said Petter. “They made an agreement for me to come and drive at Simola Hillclimb, then they made an agreement to bring the Polo R Supercar from the museum in Wolfsburg. This is the proper way of doing things – I like it.
“I have competed in South Africa before and always enjoyed it, we have some special fans down there and I’m looking forward to seeing them again. I think it’s going to be a good event.
“Can I win? Let’s see. They told me the winner’s average speed last year was 200kph – my car will only do 200kph! You know me, I will try. We will push and see what is possible. One thing is certain, it’s going to be fantastic to be back with this car again. I have such good memories of the Polo R Supercar. We were running these cars for me and Johan ourselves, with our family team (PSRX Volkswagen Sweden) winning all the titles through 2017 and 2018. Good times.”
The family theme runs into South Africa next week, with Petter’s brother Henning joining him at the event.
“I asked Henning if he would like to come and he told me he would,” said Petter, “but he also said: “Petter, if I’m coming, then I would like to drive…” So, the guys got it sorted and he will drive a Golf 8 R in the production class. It will be a lot of fun.”
Henning agreed, adding: “I think I am going to be the social media and PR manager for this trip. We will have a lot of fun. It’s always nice to drive again.”
The all-asphalt competition starts on Friday (May 5) with the King of the Hill running over the weekend. Fans will have the opportunity to meet the Solbergs at the town parade in Knysna at 1715 on Friday.