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Sunday images from the 2018 World RX of Belgium

Solberg Super Charge to MettetRX Podium

May 142018

Blink and you’ll miss it. Literally.

Petter Solberg’s 0.375-second reaction time in the final of MettetRX was enough to secure him the third Monster Energy Super Charge Award available of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship season.

Even before the wheels of his 600bhp Volkswagen Polo R started to turn, the three-time FIA World Champion had left the competition in the dust. Pole sitter and teammate Johan Kristoffersson’s reaction was 0.453, with nearest rivals Sebastian Loeb, Andreas Bakkerud, and Matthias Ekström clocking in at 0.463, 0.449 and 0.439 respectively.

Once the entire pack got off the line however, the drama really amped up. Carnage in the first corner saw Johan pushed onto two wheels, with Solberg’s lightning start diminished to a fourth place position. Undeterred the Norwegian ace fought back though; using an early joker lap strategy to chase down Loeb and finish just 0.447 seconds behind the Peugeot driver.

“Honestly it’s been a very tough weekend. Yesterday went well, we got a little bit lucky at times, but today with the rain and difficult conditions in the morning; it was pretty tricky to pull a good start and get a clean run,” explained Petter.


“It was quite a turn around of fortunes for us to jump up from P5 in the intermediate standings, to be P2 on the podium. The final race was quite interesting. I really don’t know what happened in the first corner! I didn’t close my eyes, but I think maybe now I should have, because I was getting hit from both sides!


“Somehow I was fourth out of the first corner. After that I
jokered early and honestly I just went absolutely flat out! It was very close at the end of the race, but I’m still really happy to get the podium. On top of everything I got the Monster Energy Super Charge trophy for my reaction time. The data says 0.375 seconds for my reaction time, not bad I don’t think, but still always room to improve!”


Unfortunately the first corner collision damaged Johan Kristoffersson’s Volkswagen Polo R, forcing him into a defensive race strategy for the MettetRX final, and the ultimately across the finish line in fifth position.


“A little bit of the problem for me in the final was the place I was sitting on the grid, it was a bit more wet than Loeb’s side. But, hey, this is racing. The start wasn’t so bad for me, but the next thing I knew I was on two wheels going into the first corner,” explained a disappointed Johan.


“Luckily we didn’t roll, but when the car banged down there was some damage and I knew straight away it was going to be tough to fight for the win. From then on for me, it was a case of managing the damage on the car and getting as many points as I could. I was really looking for a podium, but it wasn’t going to happen and in the
end I even dropped to fifth. This wasn’t the ideal weekend, it’s been a lot of really tough racing in some conditions which have been so, so tricky.


“The good thing for me is that I still lead the championship and the gap behind me is the same as it was when we arrived – it’s almost like this weekend didn’t happen! So, now we look forward to going to race at Silverstone for the first time.”


Full results from the 2018 World RX of Belgium are available here, with updated championship standings, here.