Solberg not focused on World RX newcomer and former WRC rival Loeb

Petter Solberg is relishing the chance to renew his rivalry with Sebastien Loeb in World Rallycross but admits he has more to worry about than just the nine-time WRC champion

Solberg not focused on World RX newcomer and former WRC rival Loeb

Solberg starts his second successive World RX title defence at the Montalegre track in Portugal on Saturday, when his former World Rally Championship foe Loeb makes his full-time debut with Peugeot.

"We all know how good Sebastien Loeb is," Solberg told Autosport.

"And there's no doubt he has the speed, the car and the team to be right at the front and fighting for the win.

"But he is one of eight, nine or even 10 drivers who could be winning races this season.

"It's going to be as tough as ever for me and my team this year. I do feel a little bit like the underdog!

"But I don't mind. We have come here for a fight and it's going to be an incredible season with some fantastic racing."

As well as Loeb and his team-mate Timmy Hansen, Solberg will also be up against Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud in a pair of M-Sport-built Ford Focus RXs, with renowned designer Christian Loriaux the man behind the car.

Solberg's Citroen team meanwhile has been working with Jean-Claude Vaucard, "a real legend of a designer in our sport", who was responsible for the Xsara WRC and the Dakar-winning Volkswagen Race Touareg.

"He has made some great ideas for our car," Solberg added.

"We have not been standing still!"

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