2003 World Rally Champion Petter Solberg’s announcement of his exit from the WRC has had the rallying community in a frenzy this week. His legions of fans and supporters have been all over Facebook and Twitter trying to figure out what he is going to do in 2013 and wondering if he will ever return to the WRC.
To assure his fans that he will still be doing some form of racing next year, Petter posted on his Facebook page the following statement:
Hello everyone. First off, I want to say thank you. You can’t imagine the feeling I get seeing and reading all of your messages and support, both here and via multiple outlets around the web. Honestly I’m always so amazed by it. Especially now, it feels great.
The decision to withdraw from the WRC for 2013 after all of these years was not an easy one. The reality is that no matter how much we were hoping that there was a proper seat for us, it was made very apparent that there was not. At this point in my career, I had to make the call. I had to step away for now, and make a change.
The main thing that I want you all to realize, is that my statements and actions should by no means be viewed as me retiring. This is my life, and I’m definitely ready and prepared for more time behind a wheel, and more success.
With all of this being said, I also wanted to confirm that we are working on some very exciting plans for 2013, and I look forward to sharing that with you as soon as we’re able. It’s going to be a fun and competitive time for all of us. I promise you that..
Thank you again. Never Give Up. – Petter
Our favorite rally reporter and friend of OpenPaddock.net, Colin Clark, spoke with Petter Solberg earlier today about 2013 and beyond. In the slightly emotional interview, Petter discusses his exit, reflects on his 15 year history in the WRC, and why he is excited about his future prospects even if it doesn’t involve a rally car.
Below is a link to the interview where I think Colin Clark says it best that Petter Solberg has been “The People’s Champion” of rallying over the last decade. Solberg’s ‘Never Give Up’ mantra and unfiltered emotion at the stage ends has been something special for rally fans over the years. He will be missed on the rally stages, but I for one can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve for 2013.