Petter Solberg won the 9th round of the 2014 World Rallycross (RX) Championship in Germany by a margin of just five thousandths of a second, the sport's closest ever finish.
In a nail-biting final race, Solberg managed to finished ahead of Mattias Ekstrom and Robin Larsson. With this, Solberg has now extended his World RX Championship lead to 52 points.
Larsson had a strong start during the race, but made a mistake on lap three which gave Solberg the opportunity to move in front.
“If you have Petter Solberg behind you, it’s really scary I can tell you. I was nervous and I made a mistake and of course Petter jumped on this and went ahead but I’m really happy to be on the podium for the second time this year,” Larsson said.
On the other hand, Solberg shared that the team's initial plan was not to win, but when Larsoon made a mistake, the Norwegian driver knew he had a chance.
“The plan today was not necessarily to win but when I saw Robin’s [Larsson] mistake, I knew I had a chance. I heard on the radio that I needed to go flat out to the finish so I really pushed on the last lap. I didn’t even know if I had won when I crossed the line, it was a really incredible moment,” Solberg said.
Despite the closest win in World RX history, Ekstrom was satisfied with the runner-up spot and congratulated Solberg.
“If you are going to lose, then to lose by five thousandths of a second is not a bad way to do it. Congratulations to Petter on his win – you can’t buy a victory, you need to work hard and he certainly did that. I’m happy with P2,” Ekstrom said.
After the 9th round of the 2014 World RX Championship, Solberg leads the driver standings with 212 points. Topi Heikkinen who finished fifth during the race now has 160 points while Reinis Nitiss has 158 points after failing to reach the semis due to a turbo failure.
Round 10 of the 2014 FIA World RX Championship will take place on September 27 to 28 at Franciacorta in Brescia, Italy.