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Solberg relieved and proud of career best WRC result

Oliver Solberg was both proud and relieved to secure a career best World Rally Championship result in Belgium following an emotional early exit in Finland.

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

Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

The Hyundai driver produced a faultless drive to successfully navigate through the tough Asphalt event, won by Hyundai team-mate Ott Tanak, to net fourth position.

Heading into the event the 20-year-old revealed that he had completed a 40km quad bike drive at full speed at his home, as a way to deal with the anger and disappointment of crashing out at the first corner of Stage 2 in Finland two weeks ago.

The WRC rookie admitted he was proud of the result after witnessing many of his Rally1 rivals hit trouble on Ypres’ tricky narrow asphalt roads.

“First of all, is a relief,” Solberg, the son of 2003 world rally champion Petter Solberg, told Autosport.

“I think that after such a tough year, we’ve had some very good speed all year and been so close to good results a few times, but I think it was nice to have everything together and as a package. And also from my side it was also just a very clean weekend.

“Finland was I think, not a punch to my confidence on my driving, I think it was just a punch in life, because rallying is my life.

"But the team was really behind me and told me, ‘hey, you know you are very fast and you know you can drive a car, because you have one misfortunate don’t get yourself down.’

Oliver Solberg, Hyundai World Rally Team

Oliver Solberg, Hyundai World Rally Team

Photo by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

“So they really, really supported me and I think that really helped me this weekend to know I could get my head down and drive, then step by step [improve].

“The car was in one piece as well and I think putting all that together is really good.

“The Ypres roads are so, so demanding and the margin of mistake even if you go a little bit off or like the top guys did, the margin is so small. I had one moment this weekend and it is enough to take you out so you need to give this event a big respect.”

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The result eclipsed his previous best of fifth achieved at the 2021 Rally Monza season finale.

Solberg is set to hand over the Rally1 i20 N to team-mate Dani Sordo for next month’s Acropolis Rally, as part of Hyundai’s shared third car 2022 programme.

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