Solberg 'not ready' for Le Mans drive

Former World Rally champion Petter Solberg has decided that he is not ready to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours and will remain focused on the WRC for this season

Solberg 'not ready' for Le Mans drive

Solberg tested the ORECA team's Le Mans prototype during the winter, and had been offered a drive with the team in both the 24-Hour race and the Le Mans Series.

But having set up his own team for this year's WRC - and scored a surprise podium in the last round in Cyprus - the Norwegian has chosen to prioritise his rallying career for 2009.

Writing in his exclusive AUTOSPORT column, Solberg said he came to the decision despite further underlining his circuit racing skills with an impressive test in a privately-owned 2005 Ferrari Formula 1 car recently.

"I was talking with the Ferrari engineers after the test and they said my times were close to the pace after just four laps, which was really good for me," Solberg wrote.

"It made me think more about doing the Le Mans race with ORECA, but I just think that the racing thing is a bit soon for me.

"I was offered the whole Le Mans Series season with ORECA, but then missed the official Le Mans test because I was busy testing the rally car. And the Le Mans 24 Hours actually clashes with the Acropolis Rally.

"After the last event in Cyprus went so well, it made me think maybe I should focus completely on what I'm doing with my own rally team."

He still hopes to contest Le Mans later in his career.

"Don't get me wrong, Le Mans is something which really excites me and I want to go racing at this event, but, as I say, I think it's a bit early," said Solberg.

Read Petter's Solberg exclusive AUTOSPORT column on his Ferrari test, Le Mans and this weekend's Rally Portugal.

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