Article

Solberg exits WRC

4 December 2012 13:23

Petter Solberg has ruled himself out of the World Rally Championship for the first time since 1998.

The Norwegian has opted against paying to retain his seat in the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team in 2013 and will instead pursue other motorsport opportunities.

"I am so grateful and happy for what I have experienced during my 15 years in the WRC," Solberg said.

"For now it's really quite sad, you know, I would have loved to have driven for a few more years, but I do realise there will not be a WRC programme for me next year.

"I have said I am willing to drive for free, but at this point, I will not pay to drive.

"This is not to say that you will never again see me in a WRC car, but for now, I think it's best (to quit)."

Solberg said he feels he can still compete at the highest level of rallying, but understands M-Sport's financial constraints.

"I know I am good enough to fight in the top for many years still," he said

"But I fully understand the difficult financial situation for the 2013 season for M-Sport, so I wish the team all the best in the future."

Solberg won a title with Subaru in 2003, with the last of his 13 race victories coming during the 2005 Rally of Great Britain.

"The sport has given me so much but I want to give a special thank you to all of my fans that have supported me through thick and thin, and given me such a great feeling about what I do, and for being a large reason of why I do it," he said.

"I do hope you all understand, and I hope you'll continue to follow me on to my next venture. I promise to bring you something worthy of this."

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