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
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Plus

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming Plus

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Plus

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Autosport for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Plus

How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple

WRC
Jul 18, 2022
How the WRC captures its stunning visuals Plus

How the WRC captures its stunning visuals

Whether it’s the mountains of Monte Carlo, the snow of Sweden or the Kenya Savannah, the World Rally Championship is able to beam some of motorsport’s most spectacular footage to television screens while operating in the harshest of environments. Autosport went behind the scenes to unearth the secrets that make this logistical challenge possible

WRC
Jul 7, 2022
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Plus

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally Plus

How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022