Solberg secures Hyundai WRC return in Safari Rally

Oliver Solberg will join the top World Rally Championship class again having secured an outing with Hyundai Motorsport at the Safari Rally later this month.

The son of 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg will make his second appearance in a Hyundai WRC car in the championship at the iconic Kenya event (24-27 June), which returns to the championship after a 19-year hiatus.

Solberg was set to contest Rally Sardinia earlier this month before having to withdraw from the event after his father contracted COVID-19. As a result, the 19-year-old was forced to quarantine for 14 days in Porto following Rally Portugal, as per the championship’s COVID-19 protocols.

Confirmation of Solberg’s second WRC call up for Hyundai comes while the rising star is driving a Hyundai i20 WRC car at the tarmac Rally di Alba event in Italy.

The teenager has impressed the Hyundai squad after finishing seventh on his full WRC debut at Arctic Rally Finland in February. This will be Solberg’s first run on gravel in the Hyundai WRC car.

“I know I talk about my dreams a lot “but this one really is a dream,” said Solberg.

“I can’t believe it! When Andrea [Adamo, Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal] and Alain [Penasse, Hyundai Motorsport Team Manager] first talked about me maybe going out to do the recce on Safari, I was so excited.

“Now I’m going to compete at Safari Rally Kenya. The World Rally Championship is full of incredible events in amazing places, but this is such an honour and a privilege to be doing this one.

“The WRC has been waiting for 19 years since the last Safari and to be competing with a factory World Rally Car when the sport goes back to Africa is so special.

“I’m always excited to be getting in a car to drive, but this is on another level now.

“Like always, I want to say a really big thank you to Andrea, Alain and the whole team for making this happen.”

Hyundai boss Andrea Adamo added: “I am really happy that Oliver can finally make his gravel debut with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on gravel at Safari Rally Kenya.

“We have seen at the Artic Rally Finland that he can be very fast in the WRC car and I think he already showed what he can do, but most of all we want him to enjoy the Safari and there won’t be any pressure on him.

"I am sure we will see again some nice speed from Oliver and he will have the possibility to learn more about the car.

“I am looking forward to see him in action, we all know he is a very fast driver, who is both passionate and dedicated – I really like his approach to things and I am sure he will be able to impress again.”

shares
comments

Related video

WRC teams to be offered strategies for hybrid use in 2022

Previous article

WRC teams to be offered strategies for hybrid use in 2022

Next article

WRC not expecting new manufacturer until 2024 at the earliest

WRC not expecting new manufacturer until 2024 at the earliest
Load comments
How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Prime

How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Prime

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Prime

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win.

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Prime

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021