Rallycross star Petter Solberg to tackle Knysna’s Simola Hillclimb in a Volkswagen Polo R

Published Apr 11, 2023


Johannesburg - When Volkswagen South Africa brings renowned Norwegian Rallycross driver Petter Solberg out of retirement to compete at this year’s Simola Hillclimb event in Knysna, you know it means business.

Solberg will be charging up the hill in a Polo R WRX Supercar, continuing his partnership with VW that started in 2017, when he set up the PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team, in partnership with Volkswagen Motorsport, winning the Team's Championship in 2017 and 2018 before his retirement from full-time racing.

“We are thrilled to have Petter come out of retirement to race for us in South Africa,” said Mike Rowe, the head of Volkswagen Motorsport.

With two Drivers’ titles and two Teams’ FIA World Championship wins, the Polo R WRX Supercar is arguably the most successful race car of the modern Rallycross era.

Standout features of the Polo R WRX Supercar include engine cooling which has an emphasis on aerodynamics thus making it far more efficient. The rear wing of the supercar creates more downforce and allows a wide range of set-up options.

The Polo R WRX Supercar’s four-cylinder engine develops 419kW of power, with a torque peak of 650Nm at 5 000rpm, and is coupled to a sequential, six-gear racing transmission, taking just 1.9 seconds to complete the 0–100km/h sprint.

Joining Solberg in the Volkswagen Motorsport line-up are factory drivers Jonathan Mogotsi and Daniel Rowe competing in the new Golf 8 R.

The turbo-charged four-cylinder engine is good for 234kW and 400Nm of sending power to all four wheels, and will get to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds topping out at 250km/h.

The fourth driver, Graeme Nathan, will be hoping to go one better than last year in his Polo SupaCup racing car. He had finished in second place, by 0.016 seconds, in Class B2, the closest margin in the history of the event.

IOL Motoring