But despite this long and glittering career the Norwegian remains one of the most determined competitors on the stages. What makes him tick? It could be spicy cheese and ham toasties...
What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
“I must say Norway. It’s a fabulous country, the climate is perfect and they have enough decent roads to make us good drivers. My brother [Henning] now owns the farm we grew up on but it will always be home to me.”
How well did you do at school?
“Some areas good. Some areas terrible. The things that interested me, that kept my focus, I did very well at. One of my better subjects was English, but when I joined the WRC it turned bad again. I don’t know what happened there. Less good were my Norwegian and maths. I didn’t have the interest there, but my brother was good.”
What was your favourite toy as a child?
“My Radio controlled car. I took it with me everywhere - and I mean everywhere. It would come with me to bed, to the shower, you know? A bit weird maybe, but that’s how it is if I’m passionate about something. Just ask [my wife] Pernilla.
If you were stranded on a desert island what three items would you need to survive?
“How big is the island? Can I have a car? Then lots of fuel and my family please.”
If you hadn’t become a rally driver what job would you be doing now?
“That’s very hard to answer. Some say I would be on drugs. But honestly I never had a plan about anything. I just did things, did them properly and it just happened. This is what I had the passion for. There was never any other option.”
“What’s the most annoying thing about your co-driver?
Who is the unsung hero in your team?
“Pernilla. Nobody sees or hears what she does in the background but it’s incredible. She manages everything from emails, contracts, team clothing, people, sponsors and on top of that she looks after our son Oliver. He’s competing in cross karts now and Pernilla drives him around in an 18-metre motorhome and trailer. Everyone else is a long way behind Pernilla.”
What’s in your favourite sandwich?
“Ham and cheese with spicy piri sauce. Toasted please.”
What would you do on your perfect day off?
“I’d do something with my son. Fishing, quad biking, cross karting - whatever. That’s the main thing for me.”
Your team boss is coming over for dinner. What would you cook for him?
“I’d like to ask Pernilla to make something for me to warm up. But if it’s all down to me then Beef Tacos, I’m quite good at those.”