Petter wins in Germany with the closest ever finish.
iON World RX Driver Petter Solberg has won the World RX of Germany, round nine of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in what is the sport’s closest ever finish in its 47-year history.
In a nail-biting final race, Solberg pipped Sweden RX winner Mattias Ekstrom to the post by an unbelievable margin of just five thousandths of a second. Robin Larsson completed the podium line-up finishing third in his Audi A1 Supercar.
Over 10,000 spectators travelled to Estering Circuit in north-west Germany as mixed weather conditions and a record-breaking entry of 41 Supercars made for action-packed racing. Amongst the 76 cars entered to compete in SuperCar, TouringCar and Super1600, there were eight local drivers including the likes of six-time Guinness World Record Holder Ronny C Rock and World Touring Car regular Rene Munnich. As well as World RX, there were also 26 entries in the penultimate round of this year’s FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX), which Ekstrom won. Euro RX points leader Larsson took second and Tommy Rustad finished third.
“Wow, I don’t know what to say – I don’t think I have seen anything so close in my whole life,” grinned Germany RX winner Solberg who has now extended his World RX Championship lead to 52 points with just three rounds remaining. “The plan today was not necessarily to win but when I saw Robin’s [Larsson] mistake, I knew I had a chance. Then on the second last lap I made a mistake – I couldn’t remember if there was one more to go so I hesitated at the joker and lost some time. I heard on the radio that I needed to go flat out to the finish so I really pushed on the last lap. I didn’t even know if I had won when I crossed the line, it was a really incredible moment.”
Despite the closest win in RX history, two-time DTM Champion Ekstrom was satisfied with the runner-up spot. “If you are going to lose, then to lose by five thousandths of a second is not a bad way to do it,” joked Ekstrom whose team-mate Pontus Tidemand finished fourth after reaching his third final this season. “Of course I really wanted a victory for Audi here but we have two on the podium and three made it to the final with Pontus which is a great result for Audi on its home event. Congratulations to Petter on his win – you can’t buy a victory, you need to work hard and he certainly did that. I’m happy with P2.”
Martin Anayi, World RX Managing Director for IMG Motorsports, concluded: “Today we witnessed one of the closest finishes there’s ever been and the organisers have done a tremendous job at dealing with such a huge entry of cars. For two drivers to be separated by five thousandths of a second is really incredible and helps to demonstrate how extremely close racing RX creates. We also saw four manufacturers in the final today which goes to show just how diverse an entry that Germany RX delivered this weekend. With Ford Olsbergs MSE leading a three-horse race in the Teams’ Championship, our next event in Italy is shaping up to be pivotal in the title chase. Today delivered one of the best TV shows that motorsport can offer and again goes to show the true potential of our fledging World Championship – well done to all the teams and drivers for putting on such a fantastic show.”
Round 10 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship will take place at the all-new RX track of Franciacorta in Brescia, Italy next week (27-28 September).
DRIVER POINTS AFTER ROUND 9, WORLD RX OF GERMANY
Petter Solberg (PSRX), 212 points
Topi Heikkinen (VW Marklund), 160 points
Reinis Nitiss (Ford Olsbergs MSE), 158 points
Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Olsbergs MSE), 136 points
Timur Timerzyanov (Peugeot-Hansen), 128 points
Anton Marklund (VW Marklund), 124 points
TEAM POINTS AFTER ROUND 9, WORLD RX OF GERMANY
Ford Olsbergs MSE, 294 points
Volkswagen Marklund, 284 points
Team Peugeot-Hansen, 250 points
PSRX, 204 points
Monster Energy World RX Team, 81 points
Albatec Racing, 32 points