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      Solberg, Petter
        Petter's WRC starts
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  Home > People > Drivers > P to S > Solberg, Petter
Petter Solberg
In comparison to it's Nordic neighbours of Sweden and Finland, Norway has never been an established rallying country in terms of international success. Main reason for this was a fatal accident in mid-1970's which saw rallying banned. John Haugland is the most famous norwegian rally driver and his feats with Skodas took place in 1970's. This lack of heritage never stopped Petter from having high ambitions and for an outsider, his quick ascension to the top seemed so easy.

Petter started his motorsport career by becoming norwegian champion of radio controlled cars in 1987. From toy cars he moved to real ones, first in autocross and later, after couple of national titles in autocross, in rallying. First proper rally with proper car was when he Petter loaned his brother's Toyota Celica for national rally at the end of 1996. And promptly rolled the car, completely wrecking it. This did not kill the spark, quite the opposite and young man marched into a bank, got huge loan and bought a new Celica.

In 1997 he used the car to a good effect, winning national hill-climb championship and was fifth in national rally championship. For next year local Toyota imported got him newest Celica and Petter won most of the rounds on his way to national rally title. He also started on his first WRC event in Sweden, finishing 16th overall.

What happened next was beyond his wildest dreams. True to his nature Petter had sent a video of himself to all WRC team managers, quite a stunt from young driver with only two seasons under his belt. In one way or another, Ford decided to sign him for five years, starting from 1999. This took rallying community by complete surprise but made perfect sense for Ford. Petter was highly promising but inexpensive and low-risk investment.

Supporting team leader Colin McRae and number two Thomas Radstrom, Petter had relatively modest programme for 1999. His big break came when Thomas was unable to start Safari Rally due to injury and hastily Petter was ordered to take his place. Young man finished fine fifth overall. Further starts followed and he finished all rallies he started. Given that he had five year contract with Ford, Petter's move to Subaru in mid-2000 was a complete surprise to everyone.

There good finishing record was smashed and during most of 2001 Petter spent in a ditch after a mistake of his own. Maturity has to come somehow and 2002 was already better season for him, culminating to his first win and runner-up position in championship. As a person, Petter is flashing show-man, full of energy, quick with a joke and it is no wonder that he is so liked both in his native Norway as well as all over the world.

WRC starts:190
first: Sweden 1998
latest: Great Britain 2019
Resultswins:13 (6.8% of starts)
second places: 15 
third places: 24  
total podiums: 52 (27.4% of starts)
points finishes: 120  
total points scored: 853  (drivers' championship points)
points from Power Stages: 21  
DNF's: 47 (24.7% of starts)
Stage wins: 457 
Power Stage wins: 4 
WRC titles:winner of 2003 FIA World Championship for Drivers
First WRC event: 1998 Sweden
First DNF: 1998 Great Britain
First scored point: 1999 Safari (5th)
First stage win: 2000 Portugal (SS15)
First time led rally: 2000 Great Britain (SS2)
First podium: 2001 Acropolis
First win: 2002 Great Britain
Career summary
  Team  StartsWinsPodiumsDNF'sPointsRank
 1998  Private2 0 0 1 0  -   
 1999  Ford,
6 0 0 0 2 19th 
 2000  Ford,
10 0 0 6 6 10th 
 2001  Subaru14 0 1 6 11 10th 
 2002  Subaru14 1 5 4 37 2nd 
 2003  Subaru14 4 7 3 72 1st 
 2004  Subaru16 5 7 4 82 2nd 
 2005  Subaru16 3 8 4 71 2nd 
 2006  Subaru16 0 4 4 40 6th 
 2007  Subaru16 0 2 4 47 5th 
 2008  Subaru15 0 1 2 46 6th 
 2009  Private10 0 2 3 35 5th 
 2010  Private13 0 8 1 169 3rd 
 2011  Private13 0 2 4 110 5th 
 2012  Ford13 0 5 1 124 5th 
 2018  Private1 0 0 0 0  -   
 2019  Private1 0 0 0 1 31st 
petter solberg
Petter Solberg
Nationality: Norway
Birthday: 18-Nov-1974
Nickname: Hollywood
Petter's homepage

Petter's 100th
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Petter reached 100th WRC start in 2006 Acropolis. Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
petter ford
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Petter's early drives were in white Ford Focus, here in Rally GB 1999 Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
petter subaru
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But starting from Corsica 2000 Petter drove for Subaru Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Petter Solberg
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Hanging half-outside the car while driving it has become Petter's hallmark feat. Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window