Big guns rally for Coffs race
WORLD champion racing drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Petter Solberg are set to contest Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast in September.
Considered two of the most exciting personalities in the World Rally Championship, both will drive works-built Citroen DS3 WRC rally cars.
Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula 1 World Champion known as The Iceman and 2003 World Rally champion Solberg, nicknamed Hollywood, promise to bring massive fan and media attention to the September 8 to 11 event, which will be round 10 of the 2011 World Rally Championship.
Rally Australia general manager Michael Masi said it was wonderful news that Raikkonen and Solberg would compete in Australia and he was looking forward to receiving their official entries.
“These two drivers are both world champions and motorsport mega-stars,” Mr Masi said.
“To see them driving their million-dollar rally cars on the roads of the Coffs Coast will be a huge attraction.”
Raikkonen won the 2007 Formula 1 World Championship, including the Australian Grand Prix, for the Ferrari team before putting his hard-earned reputation on the line in a switch to the WRC in 2010.
Known for his ultra-calm personality, the 31-year-old Finn experienced a chequered debut season, finishing 10th, but rarely failed to entertain with his spectacular displays of driving skill.
He also contributed far more than results to the sport by attracting fans and media wherever he competed.
Citroen Racing boss Oliver Quesnel announced this week Raikkonen’s ICE1 Racing team would contest 10 WRC rounds this year, not including Mexico, Argentina or Italy, and thereby confirming the former grand prix star’s Rally Australia debut.