Solberg eyeing Ford for Rally GB
|By David Evans
||Thursday, August 6th 2009, 08:33 GMT
Petter Solberg is working on a deal to drive a Ford Focus RS WRC 08 on Rally GB in a bid to win a round of the World Rally Championship for the first time in four years.
Solberg won the event four consecutive times between 2002 and 2005 and is hoping to negotiate a deal with Ford team director Malcolm Wilson to drive a car which could end the longest winless streak of the Norwegian's professional career. Solberg hasn't won since Rally GB in 2005.
"I'm looking at many different things for Rally GB, the Focus is one of the things I'm thinking about," Solberg told AUTOSPORT. "If I do it, I would do it to try and win the rally, of course, that's the plan.
"I have to work out what is possible right now. I know the rally really well and I think I would stand a chance."
Solberg believes he will be able to put up a fight against the likes of Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen: "In Finland last week, I was second just six seconds behind Mikko [Hirvonen] before I had my problem. I know I can fight with him in GB and I want to."
Solberg could play a role in the direction of this year's manufacturers' championships if he is registered for points in Ford's Stobart VK M-Sport Team.
Having spent recent months eyeing a deal to drive a Citroen C4 WRC in the championship, Solberg admitted he would still love to drive a car of the same specification as Loeb's.
"Look, at the end of the day, both the Ford and the Citroen are winning cars, I don't care which car it is - I just want to win again!" he said.
If Solberg succeeds in doing the deal, it could put him in a team alongside his brother Henning for the first time. It would be the first time two siblings have driven at the highest level on Rally GB as team-mates since Colin and Alister McRae represented the Subaru World Rally Team in 1998.
It would also be the first time Solberg has driven a Ford rally car competitively since he departed mid-season for Subaru in 2000. Solberg has driven a factory Ford on Rally GB once, finishing ninth in a Focus in 1999.