Tue 21 Feb 2023

Solberg: 'My confidence was never low’

Despite dropping back to the WRC2 category this season, Oliver Solberg has maintained that his confidence never dipped.

Earlier this month, Solberg clinched a convincing victory at Rally Sweden, beating Ole Christian Veiby by 42.3 seconds after leading the premier support category practically from start to finish.

It was the 21-year-old’s first scoring round of the season, having previously used Rallye Monte-Carlo in January as a learning experience without registering for points. The experience gained in Monaco appeared to have paid dividends.

Solberg's victory in Sweden was significant for a number of reasons. It marked a comeback of sorts for the youngster, who was dropped from Hyundai Motorsport's top-level line-up in the WRC last season.

Being relegated to the championship’s second tier was only a minor setback in Solberg’s eyes - and his confidence was never low. "I always had the belief that I could do something good," insisted the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 driver.

"I always knew that, when everything works, when everything around is good and we have a good feeling working together in the same direction, we could do it.

"In Monte-Carlo, I already did that, and now, taking points in Sweden, it was important to be more consistent but still have the pace. The feeling is mostly relief, but also happiness to win on home ground, because I've never done that before in rallying.”

Solberg's Swedish success was a statement of intent as the youngster bids for championship glory this season. His next planned outing, although still awaiting confirmation, is understood to be Guanajuato Rally México (16 - 19 March).

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