Fri 24 Mar 2023

Solberg satisfied with WRC2 start despite early challenges

Oliver Solberg is content with the start of his WRC2 campaign, although the Swede feels he could be in an even stronger position had certain factors gone his way.

Solberg has been on fine form since stepping back from a top-level drive at Hyundai into a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 in the premier support category, and currently leads the championship by 15 points from Yohan Rossel.

The 21-year-old was in action at the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo but chose not to score points. That decision ultimately paid off for Solberg as he suffered a costly puncture on day one, although he was the fastest driver in a Rally2 car on more than half the event’s stages.

His campaign officially began with a win on home soil in Sweden, and he moved to the top of the standings with a third-place finish at Guanajuato Rally México last week. It was, however, a bittersweet outcome for the youngster, who had the pace to win were it not for a puncture and technical issue on the final day.

“It is okay for the championship,” agreed Solberg, “but it could have been more, and it should have been more. But, okay, that’s how it is - sometimes you have a bit of luck and sometimes you don’t.

“If you look back to Monte-Carlo, we could have also had the pace to win if we didn’t get the puncture. This rally (Mexico) could have also looked differently without the puncture, but at least we have a lot of positives to take from everything and it’s still a good start to the season.”

When asked about the cause of his Fabia's engine dropping onto three cylinders last Sunday, Solberg believed an electrical fault could be to blame.

“I don’t know exactly what caused it, but it seems like it could be electrical,” he said. “I talked to some of the other drivers as well and they had exactly the same thing. There was just a normal corner with a compression, and after the compression there was a loss of power. That’s it.”

Next up for Solberg is the Croatia Rally, which takes place from 20 - 23 April. He crashed out of the event last year while running fifth overall in a Hyundai i20 N Rally1.

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