Oliver Solberg to make top class WRC debut at Arctic Rally Finland

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

Oliver Solberg to make top class WRC debut at Arctic Rally Finland

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 which 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, as well as Irishman Craig Breen, who will make the first of several planed appearances during 2021 at the Arctic event.

"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 in third place. 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
Evans: Motorsport UK has real fight to get WRC Rally GB back
Previous article

Evans: Motorsport UK has real fight to get WRC Rally GB back

Next article

Rovanpera targeting WRC Arctic Rally Finland victory bid

Rovanpera targeting WRC Arctic Rally Finland victory bid
Load comments
The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022 Plus

The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022

Eight-time World Rally Championship king Sebastien Ogier has abdicated (well, gone part-time) in 2022, meaning for just the second time in the past decade we will have a different champion this year. Autosport picks out the drivers gunning to take his place and take over the mantle as the WRC's new ruler

WRC
Jan 20, 2022
The 'Cumbrian Maranello' where Ford's WRC giants are born Plus

The 'Cumbrian Maranello' where Ford's WRC giants are born

M-Sport is changing the game as a World Rally Championship powerhouse, inspired by Ferrari's legendary Formula 1 base. Autosport was afforded a behind-the-scenes look at its new headquarters, the result of a vision that has taken three decades to be realised, where its new Rally1 Puma took shape

WRC
Jan 19, 2022
The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival Plus

The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival

Part-time opportunities with Citroen and Hyundai have offered brief glimpses of what Craig Breen can do in a World Rally Championship car. Now signed up by M-Sport to lead it into the WRC's new hybrid era, Breen has been given the chance he's pursued for so long and is determined to make the most of it

WRC
Jan 18, 2022
Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best Plus

Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best

The World Rally Championship has brought down the curtain on the aggressive, aero-laden generation of cars first introduced in 2017 that have been likened to the 1980s Group B icons. As the championship prepares to begin a new era of Rally1 hybrid cars, its stars explain just why the outgoing machines were so special

WRC
Dec 24, 2021
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021

On the eve of a new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship, the 2021 season was a blockbuster fought out between Toyota's two top dogs, with a familiar figure eventually emerging on top after a final showdown at Monza. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers from the top class and its supporting cast

WRC
Dec 21, 2021
Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour Plus

Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour

He’s shuffling into semi-rally-retirement, but Toyota star Sebastien Ogier was at the peak of his powers in the final season for the high downforce era-World Rally Championship cars. Despite Toyota's domination, there was still much to enjoy as the old master emerged atop a fierce title fight against team-mate Elfyn Evans

WRC
Dec 19, 2021
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021