Coffs tipped to suit
FORMER world champion Petter Solberg hopes that his ability to adapt quickly to new courses will put him in a strong position when the Australian leg of the World Rally Championship commences on Coffs Harbour's Jetty Foreshores tonight.
Solberg, who won in Australia on the way to claiming his sole world title in 2003, is one of the favourites for a podium finish in the Coffs Harbour event, which will use all-new stages after the WTC race was switched to the area this season.
"It will be fun to do a rally in Australia again," Solberg said.
"I missed out on this rally in 2009 (due to funding issues).
"It's a brand new venue for it in Coffs Harbour but normally new events turn out good for us, so I'm looking forward to it."
After nine rounds, Solberg and co-driver Chris Patterson are fifth in the WRC standings with just one podium finish this season in their privateer Citroen DS3.
However, their standing is considered to be a poor reflection on the pace they have shown, particularly earlier in the season when they led several events and recorded a succession of fastest stage times.
"We just have to fight on," the Norwegian said.
"I hope we can get the problems fixed and be back on the pace in this rally.
"We should be on the podium but the development of the manufacturers is going so fast now so we have to push on."
Solberg won't be the only member of the Norwegian rallying clan in action on the Coffs Coast this weekend.
Solberg's older brother Henning will also be competing behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta RS WC for the M-Sport Stobart team.