BUXTEHUDE, Germany – official release — McKlein/IMG photo — Norway’s Petter Solberg won Sunday’s Red Kiwi World RX of Germany FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy race in the sport’s closest finish in its 47-year history.
In a nail-biting final race, Solberg held off Sweden RX winner Mattias Ekstrom by an unbelievable margin of just .005 seconds. Robin Larsson completed the podium line-up finishing third in his Audi A1 Supercar.
More 10,000 spectators travelled to Estering Circuit in north-west Germany Sunday as mixed weather conditions and a record-breaking entry of 41 Supercars made for action-packed racing. Amongst the 76 cars entered to compete in SuperCar, TouringCar and Super1600, there were eight local drivers including the likes of six-time Guinness World Record Holder Ronny C Rock and World Touring Car regular Rene Munnich. As well as World RX, there were also 26 entries in the penultimate round of this year’s FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX), which Ekstrom won. Euro RX points leader Larsson took second and Tommy Rustad finished third.
“Wow, I don’t know what to say – I don’t think I have seen anything so close in my whole life,” said Solberg, who extended his World RX Championship lead to 52 points with just three rounds remaining. “The plan today was not necessarily to win but when I saw Robin’s [Larsson] mistake, I knew I had a chance. Then on the second last lap I made a mistake. I couldn’t remember if there was one more to go so I hesitated at the joker and lost some time. 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.”
Despite the closest win in RX history, Ekstrom was satisfied with the runner-up spot.
“If you are going to lose, then to lose by five thousandths of a second is not a bad way to do it,” said Ekstrom.
“Of course I really wanted a victory for Audi here but we have two on the podium and three made it to the final with Pontus which is a great result for Audi on its home event. 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.”