Solberg enjoyed a troublefree day at the wheel of a Hyundai i20 in perfect winter conditions close to Rovaniemi, the host town for the second round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
The Swede will line up in an i20 run by the 2C Compétition squad. It marks another significant step in his rapid rise – he made his maiden stage rally appearance in a four-wheel drive car less than two years ago.
With test temperatures hovering around -10°C, the 19-year-old ran through a series of suspension and differential changes to understand the car’s full capability.
Video: Arctic Rally Finland
“I can tell you I have been smiling from the first time I opened my eyes this morning and I didn’t stop all day. I think the car was actually a little bit more straightforward to drive than I thought it would be.
“I was driving a lot in the rallycross car a couple of years ago, so I was ready for a lot of power and speed. What amazed me with the Hyundai i20 WRC was the grip in the higher-speed corners. The aero is just incredible.”
Solberg remained tight-lipped about the specifics. “I’m not going to tell you too much details on what we were doing exactly in the day, but we went through the suspension and differential set-ups and found some really good stuff,” he added.
“It would maybe have been nice to have some really higher-speed corners on the test road, just to find out what is possible in the full speed. But this is what I will focus on in the rally.
“People have asked me a lot what do I think is possible from the rally, but honestly I have to say nothing. The rally is like a longer test for me. I want to understand more from this fantastic car, I want to try some sixth-gear corners, I want to have fun and I want to keep smiling.”