Solberg hopes to make home advantage count after Rally Sweden organisers confirm Norway stages
|By David Evans||Friday, February 3rd 2012, 11:23 GMT|
Ford driver Petter Solberg will be hoping to make his home advantage count on next week's Rally Sweden - which passes the border into Norway and goes right past his front door.
Solberg, who returned to the official Ford team this season, is delighted with the decision from the Rally Sweden organisers to spend one of the three days competing in neighbouring Norway.
The 37-year-old has a family home and hotel alongside Friday morning's Mitandersfors stage - a test which starts in Sweden and finishes in Norway.
"The farmhouse overlooks the special stage," said Solberg. "I can stand at the door and see the road -at least I know the road well.
"I think there will be many people and TV crews there so the atmosphere should be great. The conditions are looking good for a fast, proper winter event. It's fun to drive in such conditions and as the rally goes into Norway this year, it makes it even more special for me."
Solberg finished third on his first event in a Fiesta RS WRC, last month's Monte Carlo Rally, but he is desperate to drive the car competitively on a loose surface for the first time next week.
"This will be my first loose surface rally in a Fiesta RS WRC," he said. "I have only had two days of testing in which to get used to it on snow and ice, but I'm not worried.
"Asphalt was the surface on which I expected difficulties in settling into the car, but I felt comfortable immediately at Rallye Monte Carlo. Ford has a superb recent record in this rally and Jari-Matti and I want to extend that."
Ford has won the last five Rally Swedens - and Solberg won the event for Subaru in 2005.