Solberg wins Rally Norway opener
Capacity crowds braved the biting cold at Oslo’s Bjerkebanen horse trotting track on Feb 12 as Rally Norway, second round of the FIA World Rally Championship, blasted into top gear. The 42 starters tackled a short 1.92km test in the Norwegian capital as a warm-up for three days of action and adventure in the snow-packed countryside over the weekend.
Petter Solberg delighted his home fans by winning the short opening stage of the Rally Norway on a trotting track. Solberg, the 2004 world rally champion, covered the 1.92-kilometer track in 1 minute, 32.8 seconds in his Citroen. Mikko Hirvonen of Finland, runner-up in the championship last season, was 0.6 seconds back in a Ford Focus. Defending champion Sebastian Loeb of France, who began his chase for his sixth title by winning the Rally of Ireland last month, finished third in another Citroen, 0.7 back.
“It’s great to start Rally Norway in front of so many of my fans, and I’m sure tonight kicked off what will be a fantastic battle over the weekend. It was an honor to be waved off by the Prime Minister and the stage was really good fun. From what we’ve seen on the recce the rest of the rally is going to be held in perfect conditions for both the drivers and spectators”, Henning said.