Petter and Oliver Solberg team up for WRC's Wales Rally GB
|By David Evans||Wednesday, July 24th 2019, 06:09 GMT|
Petter and Oliver Solberg will enter October's Wales Rally GB as a two-car team to start one World Rally Championship career and bring another to a close.
The Llandudno-based event is part of Petter's farewell tour, having announced his retirement from top level motorsport in April, and he believes it is the perfect place to introduce his son to rallying's highest level.
Petter dominated Rally GB from 2002-05 and lifted the first of his world championships at the 2003 event.
Petter told Autosport: "To end my professional career in this place, where so much happened and with Oliver driving alongside me will be unbelievable. The emotions will be a lot.
"I wanted to pick one WRC round as part of my farewell tour. No, that's not true, I wanted to pick lots of WRC rounds as part of my farewell tour!
"Wales has been such a special place for me in my career and the people in England [Britain] are a huge part of my life and always will be. To come to Rally GB is so important for me.
"You know my co-driver Phil [Mills] is from there and I've always felt like this was almost a home round of the championship."
Mills - who won the 2003 title with Petter Solberg - joins the Norwegian in the WRC for the first time since Rally Portugal in 2010.
Mills stepped in for a one-off with Elfyn Evans in Corsica last year, his first time competing in the WRC since his last event with Petter Solberg in Portugal.
Petter switched from the WRC to World Rallycross in 2013 and won back-to-back WRX titles in 2014 and '15.
His team - PSRX Volkswagen Sweden - dominated the last two years of WRX, taking drivers' and teams' titles with Johan Kristoffersson.
Petter's association with Volkswagen has continued and he was chosen to give the Polo GTI R5 its long-awaited debut at the Catalunya Rally last year - with both Solberg's driving the car on Rally GB later this season.
Since then, Petter decided to stop competing professionally to focus his attentions on his 17-year-old son.
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Oliver Solberg started driving a four-wheel-drive rally car at the beginning of this year and won four of his first five starts.
He took victory on America's best-known event the Olympus Rally (where he drove for Subaru Motorsports USA) and Rally Liepaja, where he became the youngest person ever to win a round of the European Rally Championship.
"The chance to go and compete in Wales alongside my papa is massive for me," said Oliver.
"My father is my hero and for as long as I have been able to think and talk, I've been hearing about him driving in places like Dyfi and Hafren and Sweet Lamb.
"It was huge when I came to Wales for the test, but to know that I'm coming to do the rally is really something else."
Oliver admitted he expected a baptism of fire in Wales, adding: "The competition is huge in WRC for the R5 cars - there are so many of them and so many good drivers.
"I go there to learn, that's the only thing for me. I know it's going to be a big step up and it is one of the most technical rallies of the season - especially in the way the grip changes and making the notes and things, but I have a good teacher for this one."
Oliver made himself known to British fans with a run to third place in the Goodwood Festival of Speed final shootout earlier this month.