Sun 12 Feb 2023

Solberg secures WRC2 victory in Sweden

Oliver Solberg has claimed his maiden WRC2 victory, producing a mistake-free Sunday drive to finish ahead of Ole Christian Veiby at Rally Sweden.

The 21-year-old produced an error-free Sunday drive on his home rally to steer his Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 to a 42.3sec buffer over Veiby, with the Norwegian having to settle for the runner-up position a second year running in his Volkswagen Polo GTi R5.

Rounding out the top three in an identical Fabia to Solberg was fellow 21-year-old Sami Pajari, with the 2021 FIA Junior WRC champion recording his maiden WRC2 podium.

Solberg started the final day of action in Sweden’s snowy north with a 51.6sec buffer over Veiby. With such a lead in hand, he could afford for a conservative approach to the remaining 63.04 competitive kilometres.

That didn't stop him from going all-out in the Wolf Power Stage, however, and he secured maximum bonus points after outpacing Emil Lindholm by 0.5sec in the finale. 

"It's fantastic - what a great feeling!" Solberg exclaimed. "It's been a long time since I won, and finally everything worked correct and I am really happy. Elliott (Edmondson, co-driver) did an amazing job and for sure it's been an amazing weekend - no mistakes and really consistent."

Georg Linnamäe brought his Hyundai i20 N Rally2 home more than one-minute adrift of the podium in fourth overall, with Toksport Fabia driver Marco Bulacia only 20.4sec further behind. Teemu Suninen - who suffered a time-consuming engine issue on Friday - completed the top six. 

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