Petter Solberg shocked the field when he edged out Citroen's Dani Sordo to finish on the podium at the Rally Cyprus this past weekend...
His performance in a 2006 Citroen Xsara WRC bested the Citroen factory driver who is piloting a new Citroen C4 WRC. Solberg's performance showed two things, that the Subaru Imprezas he had been driving since 2005 were uncompetitive, and that he can pose a threat to Citroen's domination of the WRC.
So what should happen now? Dani Sordo has been less than spectacular at Citroen, not providing enough points for Citroen to have a steady grasp of the Manufacturer's Championship while ace Sebastien Loeb continues to win every event.
He is entering his third full year on the squad and has been underperforming. Should Citroen release Sordo and sign Petter to the second C4 WRC?
A second option, bear with me, is to release Matthew Wilson of the Ford Stobart team to provide Solberg with a factory-backed drive to compete against the Citroen's.
This may help Ford to once again claim the Manufacturer's championship from Citroen which won it last year and perhaps win some rallies. Wilson, who won his first WRC stage during the Cyprus Rally has been in the WRC for more than 50 events prior to winning his first stage.
A move to Ford will provide a financially steady effort for Solberg and a car that can compete with the Citroen's at every event (not that the Xsara can't).
It is unlikely that either of these options are exercised, but Petter Solberg has shown that he still has what it takes to win and should be given that opportunity. The WRC has entered a tough phase and it needs someone like Solberg to challenge both Loeb and Hirvonen and once again make the WRC even semi-exciting.