SOLBERG V EKSTROM: THE CAPE TOWN SHOWDOWN
The 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship title may have gone the way of Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson, but just one point separates former World RX Drivers’ Champions Petter Solberg and Mattias Ekstrom for second please, setting up a last round showdown in South Africa next week.
It was an amazing effort by Solberg to race in the penultimate round of World RX at the Estering in Germany following an operation to pin his collarbone in place after his semi-final crash at Latvia RX. Despite having to use a carbon fibre armoured shield to protect his collarbone, and having broken ribs, the Norwegian competed in the event and finished fourth to remain in contention for the vice-champion spot, heading to the first ever World RX round in Cape Town, at the Killarney International Raceway.
“It looked very bad before Germany but it was one guy who has been working in Speedway for many years; the doctors said no but this guy came and said ‘I’m sure we can fix this’,” explained Solberg. “It was tough, I had quite a sensitive couple of days in hospital in Latvia because I thought the season was over. That was hard. We had a good fight back. I’m really, really happy to have raced in Germany to be able to fight for medals, and I will keep pushing flat out in South Africa. If you really want something you have to do it.”
Sweden’s Ekstrom is just one point behind Solberg in the Drivers’ Championship and won in Germany to claim his fourth win of the season, setting up a winner-takes-all finale between the two former World RX champions next week. “I’ve only seen South Africa from videos and pictures, I’ve never been there so I’m really looking forward to going there as a tourist. But, once it comes to racing I’m a boring guy, I will only focus on doing the best I can,” said Ekstrom. “The title fight is all gone but best of the rest is also something nice to be and we will fight as much as we can down there and see if we can give Petter a run for being vice-champion.”
Find full World RX Championship points here.
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