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Hyundai confirms Solberg for Rally New Zealand line-up

Hyundai has announced its driver line-up for Rally New Zealand, confirming Oliver Solberg will pilot the third entry for the World Rally Championship event.

Oliver Solberg, Elliott Edmondson, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Oliver Solberg, Elliott Edmondson, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

The 20-year-old is set to sit out next month’s Acropolis Rally in Greece in favour of Dani Sordo as part of the team’s split driver roster for its third I20 N entry.

However, the South Korean marque has today confirmed that Solberg will return to the wheel of the i20 N for the following gravel event in New Zealand (29 September - 2 October).

PLUS: How Tanak triumphed amidst a series of Belgium WRC blunders

New Zealand is set to return to the WRC this year for the first time since 2012, when Sebastien Loeb emerged victorious. The event was expected to rejoin rallying’s top tier in 2020 but has been cancelled for the last two seasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Confirmation of Solberg’s return to the factory Hyundai seat arrives after scoring his career best WRC result of fourth at last weekend’s Ypres Rally Belgium.

“Very excited to confirm we’ll be back in the Rally1 car when the legendary Rally New Zealand makes a comeback to the WRC calendar next month,” said Solberg, the son of 2003 world champion Petter Solberg.

“The rally and the roads there are iconic, but at the same time it’ll be new for almost everyone - which is normally good for me! My dad also won the rally back in 2004, so hopefully he can give me some tips.”

Oliver Solberg, Elliott Edmondson, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Oliver Solberg, Elliott Edmondson, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Fabien Dufour / Hyundai Motorsport

The full entry list for Rally New Zealand is yet to be released but the event could mark the return of eight-time world champion Sebastien Ogier, who confirmed to Autosport in June that New Zealand was on the Toyota driver's wish list.

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Hyundai is yet to declare its plan for the third car for the remaining two rounds of the season in Spain and Japan that follow New Zealand.

Next month’s Acropolis Rally will be Sordo’s third outing of the season with the Spaniard thought to be likely to return for his home round in Spain in October, which was the case last season, when he shared the third car with Craig Breen. 

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