Between the car and the boys, there were seven world championship titles. And, when Johan Kristoffersson and Petter Solberg of PSRX Volkswagen Sweden lifted Oliver Solberg into the air, the future was there as well. It was the perfect way to end a really perfect season.
took a second consecutive Gymkhana Grid victory at Carnival City, Johannesburg on Saturday night
The two-time World Rallycross champion beat his PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team-mate Petter Solberg in the final for the second year running. Oliver Solberg, 17-year-old son of Petter and PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team principal Pernilla, took the bottom step of the podium in a nine-year-old Citroen Xsara WRC. In short, the PSRX squad rules South Africa. And signs off on 2018 in the most unbelievable fashion.
Johan: “I’ve got to say, I was quite worried about this one. I knew Petter was going to come at me with everything in this final and he did. It was fantastic. What can I say about this event and this season?”
“OK, I don’t say this word so often, so make the most of this one… I’m stoked! Actually, super-stoked! It’s been the most amazing season to take a second RX title with 11 wins from 12 races and to end it like this is just fantastic for me, the team and, of course for Petter, Oliver and Pernilla. What a family and what a team!”
“I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved with PSRX Volkswagen Sweden this year, it’s the best team in the world and we have the best car in the world – that’s for sure.”
No arguments from Petter.
The PSRX Volkswagen Sweden owner was a disappointed competitor and relieved father
“Did you see how close it was with Oliver in the semi-final? If I would swear, I would swear now… I thought he had me, you know. Unbelievable, I’m pretty relieved to have beaten him… but maybe this is going to be the first time and the last time! This has been another fantastic event. The atmosphere here and how well this thing is organised is just so good, so cool.”
“Johan said stoked? Seriously? OK, then I have to say this as well… honestly, I am so stoked with this event!”
“And, more than anything, I am so proud of what Oliver has achieved here. Me and Pernilla, sometimes you know, we just stand and watch this kid and we can’t believe what he’s doing. Today is one of those days. What a moment to stand with my team-mate and my son on the podium. It’s incredible.”
Oliver’s hopes of making the final were hindered by an engine problem aboard his Citroen Xsara WRC
Despite the frustration, this year’s RallyX Nordic champion was all smiles at the end.
Oliver said: “Third against those guys in those cars was the best I could hope for, really. When we were going from the line into the first corner, every time I was losing half a second [to the Polo R Supercar’s better acceleration] and then having to make up that time through the course. I came so close to beating Dad.”
“I touched some barrels a tiny bit and without that it would have been unbelievably close. I’ve got to be really happy with what we’ve done here. It’s been amazing, just amazing.”
“I want to say a big thank you to Ken [Block] for everything he has done to help me this year and to Monster for making this event – it’s so, so cool. So many other events in the world could learn from this thing. Look at the people, the crowds, they’re fantastic. I love it! Now all I have to do is talk my Dad into giving me that car for next year!”
And we can’t go without a word from the lady who made it all possible, PSRX team principal Pernilla Solberg
Pernilla: “Oh my God! I thought it was stressful having Petter and Johan racing in some RX finals, but with Oliver in there as well, it was even more stress! It was such a strange feeling watching Petter and Oliver go off the line racing each other for the first time, but, you know, I have so much love for those boys – Johan included – and this whole team.”
“Just between us, and don’t tell Petter, I wanted Oliver to win! He was the underdog – his car doesn’t have anything like the power of the Polos – so to see him doing what he was doing made me so proud. I love this sport, it’s really our life and to see those three on the podium celebrating after the year we’ve had… it was just beautiful.”
A very happy and champagne-soaked father & son after the #GymkhanaGRiD finals yesterday! ?? pic.twitter.com/6Mip93J9sz
— Petter Solberg RX (@Petter_Solberg) December 2, 2018