Veiby leaves Skoda

Ole Christian Veiby has left Skoda Motorsport with immediate effect and will drive Citroën’s C3 R5 at the next two WRC 2 rounds in Britain and Spain.

The 22-year-old Norwegian was part of Skoda’s junior programme this season and finished second in Italy and third in Sweden in a Fabia R5. He also claimed second in Argentina in a privately-entered car and scored his maiden WRC 2 victory last year in Poland.

Skoda Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek said there would be a new team strategy for 2019 and thanked Veiby and co-driver Stig Rune Skjaermoen for their contributions.

“We will officially announce our future plans and 2019 driver line-up during the annual press conference, which will take place later this year,” he added.

Veiby drove a two-wheel drive Citroën DS 3 to second in the FIA Junior WRC in 2015 and will test the C3 R5 ahead of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (4 - 7 October) and RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España (25 - 28 October).

“As I have no chance now to fight for victory in the WRC 2 championship, the timing is perfect to move on and try something different,” he said.

“A championship podium is within reach and our aim is to try for that. I will be nominated by the team (Citroën Total) in the championship and will be able to score points in both Wales and Spain.”

Ole Christian Veiby finished second at Rally Italia Sardegna

Stéphane Lefebvre and Simone Tempestini have campaigned a C3 R5 for Citroën Total since its homologation in April and the latter finished second in the WRC’s principal support category at last week’s Rally Turkey. 

“It’s a positive thing for me to get experience behind the wheel in another car, even more when I get to learn from a team who also competes in the WRC,” Veiby added.

Veiby is part of the Even Management stable, whose drivers have enjoyed big success with Skoda. Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand won the WRC 2 title in 2016 and 2017, while Andreas Mikkelsen drove a Fabia in three rounds at the start of 2017.

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