Petter Solberg will do his best to keep off the Duke of Richmond and Gordon’s front lawn next week.
But he’s not making any promises.
The first man ever to win two FIA World Championship titles is calling time* on his professional motorsport career with a Farewell Tour through 2019.
Next week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed is page one of the Tour and to mark the occasion, Petter’s bringing his family and some of his favourite toys to world motorsport’s biggest and best summer festival.
“I love Goodwood,” said Solberg. “I’ve been a lot of times before, but in recent years it’s been quite difficult to fit it to the schedule.
“When the Tour was confirmed, the Festival of Speed was at the top of the list. It’s an amazing event where we can bring some really cool cars and make sure everybody has the chance to enjoy them. The fans are such a big part of the weekend at the Festival and so is the chance to see a lot of old friends. But the main thing is for the sun to shine and to put some smiles on faces.
“You know the guy who makes this party so special is the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. It’s his house and his driveway we drive on, but he’s just as crazy for cars as any of us. It’s honestly a real honour to be back in his house again. I do remember being told off for making donuts on his front garden the last time – I hope he doesn’t mind me playing on the lawn this time!
“I remember when Pernilla [Solberg, Petter’s wife] and I came for the first time, Oliver was so tiny and playing around in his house with the Duke’s children. It’ll be nice for our families to see each other again.
“What I like about Goodwood is the way everything is done so respectfully. It’s all so… English! And I love England – you can see this from my video https://youtu.be/y0gyPwFNDo0.”
Petter’s guide to his Festival of Speed machines:
Subaru Impreza WRC 02
How could I not bring this car? So much of my career was linked to Subaru, I had so many good years with them. This was the car I won my first ever World Rally Championship event in, in Wales [Rally GB] 2002. I still remember that party. Or I think I remember it…
This car will do 110kph (68mph) in first gear! How cool is that? I won 19 out of 21 Norwegian rallycross races in this car in the 1995 season. It’s hard to believe my family made this car in our farm buildings at home – you would never believe it when you look at it. Or when you see it go!
DS 3 Supercar
This one has a really nice family history. I won my two World RX titles with this car in 2014 and 2015 and then Oliver won his first RX title with it last year. It’s an incredible car – but definitely quicker when I’m driving!
Volkswagen Polo R Supercar
After I won the two drivers’ titles, this Volkswagen was the one which really helped establish my PSRX team. Me and Johan [Kristoffersson] dominated the next two years (2017/2018) with these Polos, which are just sensational to drive.
Oliver’s Festival of Speed machine:
Subaru WRX STI
Subaru Motorsports USA is bringing the WRX STI Oliver is driving in the American Rally Association series. It’s fantastic to have this car with us as well – it shows the next generation of Solberg and that we are continuing to keep this Solberg-Subaru partnership alive.
Oliver said: “Did my dad say he would be faster than me? Did he? I bet he did. He’s so funny.
“Seriously, for me, I will let him win next weekend! I’m just so glad to be coming to Goodwood. I watched so many cars on that famous hill on YouTube and the chance to drive on that road and in that forest stage is like another dream coming true. It’s unbelievable to be coming to this event and so cool to be coming with my parents.”
Petter Solberg’s Farewell Tour in full:
Goodwood Festival of Speed
Location: Great Britain
Date: July 4-7
Car: There’s going to be more than one…
Petter says: “This is exactly what it says it is, it’s a festival of speed. I’ve been here a few times and I always had a fantastic trip. The Duke of Richmond and Gordon is a really important guy in England. I think he must be related to the Queen, I don’t know – but he has a very big house, a nice garden, a very fast driveway and he’s a very cool guy.
“I remember when I came one time and he told me not to do any donuts on his garden. I think I did some, but not so many – maybe I do a few more this time to make sure I say farewell properly!
“One of the best things about Goodwood is the different cars that come to the event. It’s amazing. So many! You see everything from the oldest Formula 1 car to Volkswagen’s ID R.
“Me? I’ll be driving Volkswagen Motorsport’s Polo R Supercar, and maybe some other cool cars…”
Norges Råeste Bakkeløp
Date: July 17-20
Car: It’ll be good up hills…
“This is one of the events we know so well in Norway. My family has a long history with this hill in Målselv and it’s something I will always try to do.
“Oliver [Solberg, Petter’s son] made a new record here last year and it’s really nice for me to go back and have a go at trying to beat that record. I think Oliver might beat a few more of my records in the future, so I want this chance to try to take one back before I say farewell!”
Date: September 7
Car: It’ll have a good handbrake…
“This is definitely one of the coolest events in motorsport now. Ken Block and Monster Energy have made an incredible job of bringing this drifting side of the sport to the people. I won this event before and came really close to winning last year when Johan [Kristoffersson] beat me.
“But I also came really close to being beaten by my son Oliver – he was driving our [Citroën] Xsara in South Africa last year and if it wasn’t for an engine problem he might have beaten me. It’s actually a really tricky event, you have to focus and concentrate so hard – if you run even a couple of centimetres wide then you can lose your race. It’s intense, but seriously good fun as well.”
*Petter will still compete regularly, but the focus will be on fun rather than winning. Focus on fun rather than winning. Did we even say that? The focus will forever be on winning…