WRC - Solberg to tackle Finnskogvalsen Rally

Petter Solberg will be driving a rally car on the opening weekend of WRC, but he will not be doing it in the French Alps.

In an effort to distract himself from the Monte Carlo Rally and the fact that 2013 represents the first year since 1997 that he won't compete at the sport's highest level, Solberg will tackle the Finnskogvalsen Rally close to his home in Sweden.

And he'll be driving the 45-mile snow event in a Ford Escort Mk II.

"It's a good way to take my mind of what's going on in Monte Carlo," said Solberg, "and that's really why I'm doing it. It's just a small event which goes on around the farm at home."

Solberg will be joined in the car - which has been built by his former co-driver Phil Mills - by his wife Pernilla, herself an accomplished competitor who tackled 14 WRC rounds in the 1990s.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," said Solberg. "I will drive one stage and Pernilla then next, we'll carry on like that. It's a fantastic car which Phil has built for us and we can't wait to get out there and start driving it."