Solberg surprised to be fighting for WRC top five at Rally Monza

Oliver Solberg says he has surprised himself a “a little bit” to be fighting towards the sharp end of the Rally Monza leaderboard in only his fourth top flight World Rally Championship outing.

Solberg surprised to be fighting for WRC top five at Rally Monza

The son of 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg delivered one of his best showings to date in a Hyundai i20 WRC car to end Friday sitting fifth of the nine WRC runners.

Solberg, partnered with his fourth different co-driver of the season in Elliott Edmondson, finished six of the seven stages with a top-five time, and three of the tests with the fourth-quickest time.

As a result, the 20-year-old ended Friday 34s adrift of leader Toyota driver Elfyn Evans, but only 10.8s behind his more experienced Hyundai team-mate Dani Sordo whom he will be share Hyundai’s third 2022 WRC entry.

Solberg's best WRC results to date are a pair of seventh-place finishes at Arctic Rally Finland in February and Spain last month.

“Yeah I am little bit [surprised by my pace],” Solberg told Autosport. “The Toyota guys are in a different league fighting for championships and taking huge risks, but I’m keeping up with the top Hyundai guys, so I’m very happy.

“It has been good but it has been difficult with it being damp and dry so to have the mix and with all the leaves that have been smashed into the ground, it has been very, very difficult.

“A lot of things have happened, it has been a positive day in terms of speed and I’m more confident in the car.

“Now we have done two races on tarmac in a row, that helps bring the confidence up and I have good speed.”

Oliver Solberg, Elliott Edmondson, Hyundai 2C Competition Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Oliver Solberg, Elliott Edmondson, Hyundai 2C Competition Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Hyundai boss Andrea Adamo also took note of Solberg’s impressive performance in a 2C Competition-run i20 WRC car.

“I’m impressed by his performance because I thought he would have been fast, but closer to the end of the rally,” said Adamo.

“It also means that the approach taken to let him stay in the car more and more to get confidence is paying back.”

shares
comments

Related video

Ogier: "Only danger" is myself in WRC title fight on Rally Monza
Previous article

Ogier: "Only danger" is myself in WRC title fight on Rally Monza

Next article

WRC Monza: Ogier reclaims lead from Evans as title battle continues

WRC Monza: Ogier reclaims lead from Evans as title battle continues
Load comments
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
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021