Team Manager for the Ford World Rally Team, Malcolm Wilson, boasted uninhibited by both Petter Solberg and Mads when he visited Oslo today. Wilson believes Norwegian Ford’s success in Rally Sweden in Norway and Sweden next week.
Petter Solberg is back as a factory driver at Ford, where he started his professional rally career in 1999. After the third place in Rally Monte Carlo, he is now one of the favorites in the Rally Sweden running next week.
– Petter was very fast in the Rally Monte Carlo, and I was impressed with the speed he had on the individual stages and that he ended up in third place overall. He has, after all, not driven much in our car yet. In Rally Sweden anything can happen. He may well come to stand top of the podium, said Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson.
Peter himself is really looking forward to driving in Norway and Sweden, and he is an true optimist.
– I have not had that feeling in a rally car that I had in Monte Carlo since I won in Sweden in 2005. Ford fits me perfectly, and it is super fast. Now we have a test this weekend, and I’m excited about how it is to drive the car on the Norwegian / Swedish winter roads. Results Ford has had in Rally Norway and Rally Sweden earlier is promising, says Petter Solberg.
Ford has traditionally had great success in the winter races in Norway and Sweden, and Wilson clearly has high hopes for his two factory drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg. But he does not dismiss Mads.
– Mads showed last year that it is possible for a private driver to compete at the top.He can do it this year too. It depends on what happens during the race. He has a lot of experience on snow and ice, and he has pace, says Wilson.
Last year Østberg ended in second place, just 6.5 seconds behind Mikko Hirvonen, and he will improve this year can only be victory.
– I can not promise a win and do not think about it when we start next week, but I have all the prerequisites. I’m well prepared. We have run two races in Norway this winter already and we are running Rally Finnskog on Saturday, said Østberg.
He has been with her neighbor and friend Eyvind Brynildsen in the Adapta team this time, and Dijk becomes the WRC debut.
– I have driven many WRC rounds, but never in a WRC car so it will be exciting.We drove Rally Elverum in a Group N car on Saturday, and we shall have a test in the WRC car today (Thursday), we also run rally Finnskog on Saturday with a WRC car. It will be exciting and I look forward, says Dijk.
A full day in Norway
A whole day of this year’s Rally Sweden will be run in Norway. Friday February 10 the participants cross the border. Race the second speed stage, Mitandersfors, starting in Sweden and the arrival in Norway. When the rally comes into Norway it will be run on parts of the known Varaldskogen-leg of Rally Finnskog. On the Swedish side is the stage just outside the wall on Petter Solberg’s mansion. Stage is the total 27.07 km and most of the leg is on Norwegian soil.
SS3 and SS6 Opaker
Opaker-stage was a success in Rally Norway. The section has a bend in the field of Opaker Farm where there are good public facilities. Stage is 20.17 km long, and states by road 210 on the west side of Glomma south / west of Kirkenær. It runs on pretty narrow your forest roads in some places, but it is also fast parts.
SS4 and SS7 Kirkenær
Stage runs along the flood embankment between the road 20 and Glomma in Kirkenær a huge success in Rally Norway. In 2007 there were 25,000 spectators in place, and so many have never before or since been collected on Kirkenær. The way it is run actually built only for the rally, the section is 7.1 km long.
SS5 and SS8 Finnskogen
Also a classic from Rally Norway, and KNA Kongsvinger is responsible for this stage. Located between Kirkenær and Svullrya. Runs from north to south, starting at Skasenden close to the road 201 Stage is 20.97 km long. It is nice to the public in the southern tip of Frysjøen.
Remote Service in Kongsvinger
After Finnskogen is run the first time, the remote service at City Hall in Kongsvinger center. It is a known place where the rally start and finish in the Rally Finnskog have been many times. On a remote service is not much you are able to do. Only minor adjustments and repairs and tire replacement.
Victory keen quartet. Petter Solberg, Malcolm Wilson, Mads och Eyvind Brynildsen is looking for success for Ford in Rally Sweden