Solberg and Räikkönen ready for Rally Finland
Citroën Racing Technologies will provide two Citroën DS3 WRCs for Norwegian Petter Solberg and Finn Kimi Räikkönen for the Neste Oil Rally Finland, the eighth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. The two Scandinavians will be among the crowd’s favourites in what is one of the most famous events in the WRC.
Petter Solberg, currently in the top 5 in the Drivers’ World Championship title chase, will be one of the most experienced drivers at the start of this event. In 169 WRC outings it will be his thirteenth outing in Rally Finland. It is also the rally that Kimi Räikkönen knows best as he has competed in the last two events in 2009-10.
The two drivers each spent two days at the wheel of the Citroën DS3 WRC on terrain similar to that of Rally Finland to prepare for this round. “We worked in similar conditions to those of a works team,” said Benoit Nogier, the Citroën Racing Technologies team principal. “There was a combination of humps and wide, quick sections. The roads were comparable to the ones we’ll race on next week.”
“Our drivers were a bit worried about how the car would handle at very high speed. This test session has reassured them about the balance of the DS3 R3. Petter Solberg was very happy with our setup. We did a good job to help him start Rally Finland as a potential victory contender. The fact that he’s got to grips with the car means that he can tackle this rally in a confident frame of mind.”
Kimi Räikkönen will start his long Finnish week on Sunday 24th July with the Red Bull Road Show in Helsinki with Sébastien Loeb.
“Kimi loves his country and his rally,” insisted Benoît Nogier. “He really enjoyed his two-day test and he got the car to handle to his liking. He has a logical approach. He was his usual self, did not get excited and kept his unflappable calm. The road-show will help him to immerse himself in the ambiance of the rally. We hope he’ll drive a consistent race and close the gap to the front-runners.”
Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson are currently lying fifth in the world championship with 73 points. Kimi Räikkönen and Kaj Lindström are eighth with 24 points from four events. In the manufacturers’ classification the Petter Solberg World Rally Team is fourth in front of ICE1 Racing in fifth place.
by: Citroen Racing Technologies