Thu 27 Apr 2023

Solberg's Croatia weather woes

Oliver Solberg’s hopes and aspirations for last week’s Croatia Rally were – by his own admission – dashed before the event even got started.

The 21-year-old opted not to score points in the WRC2 category at the championship's fourth round, and instead focused on gaining experience aboard his Toksport Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. Solberg tested the car in the wet in the days prior to the start and elected to run with a transmission set-up geared around the rain continuing.

“It has been a tough one,” said Solberg after finishing third of the Rally2 runners. “When I tested we had so much rain, the roads were so wet - in the recce it was the same, I had such a good feeling with the car, I decided to go to a wet set up with the transmission. The transmission is sealed at scrutineering which was on Wednesday. If it continued to rain, I had the perfect car!”

The rain stopped, the sun came out and the roads dried dramatically.

He added: “It was really tricky in the dry. I took the gamble and it didn’t work. Basically, you have to make a choice on the transmission set-up and I didn’t trust so much to the weather predictions and when the roads dried, my car wasn’t so good.

“The differential set-up for the wet is kind of more progressive, with the diffs more open - I didn’t have the same pull I needed from the diff. It was a mistake I made. It’s frustrating, but the positive is some fastest times. When the road got a bit more dirty with more mud pulled out, I won some stages – not as many as I would have liked, but some.”

Typically, Solberg found positives beyond his Sunday scratch times. He concluded: “We took some good experience. I did this rally in full wet last year and now full dry this year, so I understand it quite well now.”

WRC2 - Croatia Rally Highlights
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM