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GP Week : Issue 62
PETTER Solberg has decided he will drive a Citroen C4 for the two final rallies in the 2009 World Rally champions, while holding open his options, of a Citroen and a Ford, for the 2010 season. "I have tested the C4 and I'm quite certain that this is the best car for me. Citroen gave me a good offer, and I do believe that driving this car gives me a proper chance to fight for podium". The car Petter will be driving is a 2008- spec Citroen C4, but with adjustments that makes it close to the 2009 spec that Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo are driving today: "I got good offers from Citroen and Ford, but after evaluation I decided to go for Citroen and the C4 for the next two events. This will also give me valuable information regarding my plans for next year". Last week Petter Solberg held the joker card, and Citroen and Ford were anxiously waiting to see how he played his hand in negotiation relating to the entries for Catalunya and Rally GB. He has been offered what a team insider has confirmed is a "most attractive offer" from both Citroen and Ford, for a car to run in both events, both teams having the same objective -- they each want Petter to score a high position on these rallies, hopefully beating the leading driver of the other team and thereby enhancing the championship position of their own top driver. Petter however was using this commercial moment to discuss what either team can offer him for the 2010 season. The team source added: "Petter is not negotiating for the last two rallies in the 2009 season -- he has been negotiating for 15 rallies." Petter the Joker Solberg opts for Citroen for Catalunya, Wales ... and 2010? CITROEN team principal Olivier Quesnel (left) confirmed in Australia that Citroen had stopped its Super 2000 rally car project last week. "We are told that the FIA have cancelled their requirement that the next generation World Rally Cars must be based on a Super 2000 design. Experience with the Peugeot 207 S2000 project has told us that we would expect problems if we tried to commercialise a Citroen Super 2000 design. "We have built 75 Peugeots but 30 of these cars are still unsold. When we heard that Ford were planning to commercialise their Fiesta S2000 design, that told us all we need to know. "Also, because of the decisions that future Super 2000 cars must have a 1.6 litre turbo engine, it means that a 2-litre normally aspirated Super 2000 would effectively have a life of just one season." Quesnel stated that future plans now depend of the recommendations which will come out of a Technical Commission meeting on September 9 as to what sort of engine would be fitted to the new World Rally Cars. "So far all that is said is that no Super 2000 cars can be homologated as from January 1, 2011 unless fitted with a 1.6 Turbo engine. What hasn't been said is whether the engine concerned must be based on a production engine, or whether we can use a special competition World Engine design. "Our work has come to a stop until that is resolved. All I can say is that if it is to be based on a production unit, it will not be the engine used in the Peugeot 27 RC Rallye Group R3T car. Oh, I can also confirm our next World Rally Car will be based on the DS3 model". Citroen cancels Super 2000 project WRC news >> 15