WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Bauhaus Royal Rally of Scandinavia
Sweden
Starts: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 PM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Sweden
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Fri 16 Feb 2024

WRC2 star Solberg sensational in the Swedish snow

Oliver Solberg enjoyed a dream day in the FIA World Rally Championship, completing his home event in third overall and topping WRC2 by almost half a minute in his Toksport WRT-run Škoda Fabia RS Rally2.

Having charged into the lead by winning his class on the Umeå Sprint stage on Thursday evening, Solberg started SS2 3.0sec ahead of the chasing pack.

 

Despite reporting a bout of understeer at the finish of #42 Brattby, the 22-year-old edged out Sami Pajari by 2.1sec to extend his category advantage to 6.2sec.

 

Fastest among the WRC2 contingent on SS3 and SS4, Solberg returned to Umeå for midday service leading Pajari by 19.7sec.

 

Although Georg Linnamäe broke his sequence of stage wins on SS5 – a performance that netted the Estonian Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 driver his maiden outright WRC stage victory – Solberg’s lead was never threatened. He topped the order on SS7, despite a handbrake issue causing him to miss a junction and momentarily lose confidence, and again on SS8.

“Third place in a Rally2 [car] is incredible and in my home rally it’s a bit of a dream and I’m very happy,” Solberg said. “But the main goal is WRC2 and we are leading with quite a lot so I’m happy with the day.”

 

Linnamäe, who also set the WRC2 pace on SS6, is second overnight and first of the WRC2 Challenger category drivers followed by Pajari, who admitted to stalling his Yaris at the start of SS5.

 

Roope Korhonen, the 2023 WRC3 champion, is fourth in another Yaris followed by Mikko Heikkilä, the 2022 Finnish title winner and a frontrunner in the FIA European Rally Championship, and Lauri Joona.

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Challenge Program member Yuki Yamamoto is seventh after eight stages, one place ahead of Isak Reiersen, Solberg’s childhood friend and the Junior ERC winner on BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia winner in Sweden last July.

 

Turbo issues have left Emil Lindholm in ninth position. Veteran Polish driver Michał Sołowow completes the top 10 and also leads the WRC Masters Cup.

 

Jan Solans ran as high as eighth but stopped with a reported technical issue on Friday afternoon.

 

Solberg’s pursuit of back-to-back WRC2 wins in Sweden continues on Saturday morning with SS9, Vännäs.