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Citroen C4 WRC, P.Solberg & P.Mills, Catalunya 2009, 1:24 Reji Models

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Citroen C4 WRC, P.Solberg & P.Mills, Catalunya Rally 2009

1:24 scale Reji Models



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Like his older brother Henning, Petter Solberg began his motorsport career by competing in Rallycross. The day after he passed his driving test in 1992 (which was 3 days past his 18th birthday), he entered his first event. He would go on to become the Norwegian champion in both Rallycross and Hillclimbing, in 1995, winning an impressive 19 out of 21 events. He repeated this success the following year, being victorious in 15 from 19 events.

He made his stage rally debut in the 1995 Norwegian Rally Bjørkelangen, piloting a Volvo 240. He would go on to become Norwegian Rally champion in 1998, bringing himself to the attention of several World Rally Championship (WRC) teams. He signed as a junior driver for Ford, in 1999, but was unexpectedly thrust into the limelight when Fords No2 driver, Thomas Radstrom, was unable to compete in the Safari Rally due to injury. Solberg was entered into the event in his place, as a nominated points scorer for Ford. Despite being one of the most challenging rallies on the calendar, Solberg not only completed the event, but finished in an impressive 5th place.

Of course, he is best known for his association with Subaru. He joined the Prodrive Subaru World Rally Team (WRT) in 2000 and became the first Norwegian WRC champion, when he took the drivers title in 2003. He would also finish as runner up in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

When Subaru withdrew from the WRC in December 2008, Solberg was left without a drive for the 2009 season. After weighing up his options, he decided to enter the championship as a privateer and acquired a 2006 spec Citroen Xsara WRC and formed the Petter Solberg WRT. Along with regular co-driver, Phil Mills, the team made their debut at the Norwegian rally, finishing in 6th place. The following round, in Cyprus, Solberg and Mills would finish in 3rd place, the first time since 1993 that a privateer team had finished in a podium position. He would continue to battle for 3rd and 4th spots for every rally that followed, up until Rally Finland, where he was forced to retire. Feeling that he had taken the Xsara as far as he could, he began the search for a more competitive car. After sitting out the Australian Rally, he returned for the final 2 rounds of the season, with a Citroen C4 WRC, which had been upgraded to something near the spec of the Citroen factory cars. Piloting the C4, he would finish in 4th spot at both the Catalunya Rally and Rally GB, securing 5th spot in the drivers championship, come years end.

He would better that result a year later, by finishing 3rd in the drivers championship, once again piloting a privately entered Citroen C4. He would switch to the Citroen DS3 WRC for the 2011 championship (finishing 5th in the title), while 2012 would see him return to the Ford factory team, driving a Fiesta RS WRC (once again finishing 5th). Unfortunately, with Fords withdrawal from the WRC, he once again found himself without a seat for the 2013 championship, but he can now be seen in the European Rallycross Championship.

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One of the latest decal releases from Reji Model, set No 199 features the privateer Citroen C4 WRC, which Petter and co-driver Phil Mills drove to 4th spot in the 2009 Spanish Catalunya Rally. The clear Zip-Lock bag contains 2 sheets of decals and one colour, 4-view paint and decal guide. The decals are designed for use with the Heller 1:24 Citroen C4 WRC (kit no 80756).

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After applying a gloss white basecoat, some careful masking is going to be required in order to paint the curvy black markings on the body shell and to get them looking symmetrical. The rear spoiler is finished in black, as is the front edge of the bonnet. A yellow band is required around the lower edge of the front valance, which extends around and behind the wheel arches, on to the forward end of the doors. This should be quite a simple task, as it is all straight edges.

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Once painted up, your attention can turn to applying the multitude of sponsor decals and placards, etc. As with previous releases, Reji have done their research very thoroughly. The markings all appear very accurate and authentic. The decal sheets are fantastic quality, featuring pin-sharp images, printed on extremely thin and glossy carrier film. The colours (and the blacks and whites, for that matter) are nice and bold. I cant forsee any issue with their use at all.

Conclusion

Another fantastic quality product from our friends at Reji Model. I have no hesitation in recommending them to fellow Rally fans, as they offer a welcome alternative scheme for the Heller C4 model.

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