WRC Rallyes: World rally elite ready for Norway

12.02.2007: WRC Rallyes: World rally elite ready for Norway

Impressive entry list

The World Rally Championship (WRC) in Norway has attracted a record number of entrants, with the entire world rally elite in place. At least eight of these top drivers will be vying for a place on the winner’s rostrum. Up to now, a total of 79 entries have been received and 29 of these are in the WRC class.

"One thing is sure; Petter and Henning Solberg will have plenty of international competition. The response exceeds all our expectations and confirms that Rally Norway is something the manufactures teams and the other WRC drivers want," Clerk of the Course, Stig Rune Kjernsli commented regarding the provisional entry list for Rally Norway.

All the major teams will be represented. Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson will be driving for Subaru. The reigning World Champion, Sebastien Loeb, has been entered in a new Citroën C4 WRC. Marcus Grönholm and his countryman Mikko Hirvonen will be driving for BP Ford World Rally Team.

Guy Wilks from the UK is among the many international drivers taking part. He has dominated the Junior World Championships for several years in his Suzuki and will be taking part in Rally Norway in a Ford Focus WRC 2005 model.

Jan Kopecky from the Czech Republic is the only driver entered in Skoda Fabia WRC. Gutsy Gigi Galli from Italy will be driving in a Citroën Xsara WRC, as will Manfred Stohl from Austria and Daniel Carlsson from Sweden.

"Perhaps the best news is that there will be a strong Mitsubishi contingent with top drivers Toni Gardemeister and Juho Hänninen from Finland and also Xavier Pons from Spain," Stig Rune Kjenrsli informed.

Henning Solberg / Cato Menkerud will be driving for the Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team, which has entered four cars, one of which will have the talented young Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen behind the wheel with Ola Fløene as navigator. The two other drivers are Jari-Matti Latvala and Mathew Wilson. Mikkelsen will drive a 2005 model, whereas the other three will drive the new 2006 model.

Strong Norwegian particiaption

There will be a total of eight Norwegian drivers in the WRC class. In addition to the Solberg brothers and Andreas Mikkelsen, the reigning Norwegian Champion, Thomas Schie, has been entered in his Ford Focus WRC. The list also includes Subaru drivers Mads Østberg and Anders Grøndal and Ford drivers Christian August Selmer and Bernhard Kongsrud.

"An exciting Norwegian driver to watch will be young Anders Kjær, who has been entered in a Peugeot 307 WRC, which is the same type of car Henning Solberg drove when he won last year’s Rally Norway candidate race," Stig Rune Kjernsli said.

It’s good to see that veteran Roar Vannebo is making a comeback in Rally Norway. He has been entered with a Honda Civic in Group N up to 2000 ccm and will have the not unknown Henning Isdal as co-driver.


-Vidar Julien-

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12.02.2007 / MaP

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