Oliver Solberg to make WRC car debut in Finland

Oliver Solberg will step up to the premier class in the World Rally Championship with Hyundai at Arctic Finland Rally.

Oliver Solberg to make WRC car debut in Finland
Listen to this article

The drive is seen by Hyundai as part of the "ongoing learning curve" for the promising 19-year-old, with Solberg sharing the i20 Coupe WRC with Aaron Johnston. The car will be serviced by French team 2C Competition.

However, team principal Andrea Adamo is keen for Solberg to work closely with Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville, and Irishman Craig Breen, who will make the first of several planed appearances during 2021.

"We are keen to see his performance level, of course, but there is no pressure on his shoulders in his debut WRC event," explained Adamo. "He has to enjoy the rally and take all the experience possible.

"It will be his first time at the top level of world rallying but it is more of a test than anything else; he has to acclimatise and get acquainted with the high-speed nature of the car in these wintry conditions.

"We hope to see him at the arrival, the end of the Power Stage, with lots of enjoyment and happiness - that's the main target," added Adamo, who will be hoping for a better overall performance at the event following his public criticism of the team and lead drivers after last month's Rallye Monte Carlo.

Many had expected Solberg – the son of 2003 World Rally champion, Petter – to continue his Rally2 programme with Hyundai that was announced last December.

He has shown flashes of brilliance in the class, with consecutive victories on Rally Liepaja in 2019 and 2020 his biggest achievement to date.

Solberg and Johnston go to the second round of the World Rally Championship in good shape, having finished January's Arctic Lapland Rally third.

The roads that featured will be similar to the ones that make up the route of the Arctic Finland Rally – but the young Swede is keen to temper expectations.

"The first thing is for me to say a very big thank you to Hyundai Motorsport for giving me this opportunity to gain experience and for putting their trust in me to drive this rally in the i20 Coupe WRC. I'm counting down the minutes until I get to sit in this fantastic car for the first time," he said.

"This really is a dream to be making my debut in a World Rally car with the reigning manufacturers' champions. I have driven quite a lot on the snow, and I know this type of condition quite well, but the car is completely new for me.

"The only target for me in Lapland is to learn and take the experience. I want to come out of every stage understanding the i20 Coupe WRC more than when I started it."

shares
comments

Related video

Evans struggled to "connect" with new WRC tyres in Monte Carlo
Previous article

Evans struggled to "connect" with new WRC tyres in Monte Carlo

Next article

Solberg: Hyundai WRC car "easier to drive" than I thought

Solberg: Hyundai WRC car "easier to drive" than I thought
Load comments
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Prime

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Prime

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Prime

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Prime

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Motorsport.com donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the life of a rally mechanic.

WRC
Apr 17, 2022
The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer Prime

The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer

Taking his first step into the Junior World Rally Championship category, McRae Kimathi - named after 1995 world champion Colin - found himself in the unfamiliar climes of Sweden's snow and ice. Having impressed, Kimathi hopes to blaze a trail to the top level of WRC and help other African drivers to step onto the ladder

WRC
Mar 8, 2022
How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight Prime

How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight

After a blockbuster opening act to the new era of the World Rally Championship with the battle of the Sebastiens at Monte Carlo, Rally Sweden would be the first chance to assess the next superstar of rallying. While teething issues with the new hybrid power thwarted some of the cast, Kalle Rovanpera’s display gave him headline billing

WRC
Feb 28, 2022
The "painful" journey behind the WRC's generational tech innovation Prime

The "painful" journey behind the WRC's generational tech innovation

As the company selected to provide the hybrid kits for the 2022 World Rally Championship, the pressure was on Compact Dynamics at the Monte Carlo season opener. Needing to treat all three manufacturers equally, it wasn't a straightforward process, but its first big test was a resounding success that bodes well for the future.

WRC
Feb 25, 2022
The mentality shift key to Lappi’s shot at WRC redemption Prime

The mentality shift key to Lappi’s shot at WRC redemption

He appeared poised to become the World Rally Championship’s new bright young star five years ago, but Esapekka Lappi's fortunes since his 2017 breakthrough win offer a cautionary tale of how the tables can turn. Now having rebuilt his career, the Finn is determined to make the most of his second shot at the big time with Toyota.

WRC
Feb 23, 2022