The Scandinavian driver Oliver Solberg continues with his discreet but steady ascent towards the elite of the speciality. This past week, for instance, he has been in Spain a couple of days as he continues to train and get comfortable with his new car, the Skoda Rally2 Evo. Also, before travelling to Spain he had announced the extension of his 2020 World Rally Championship program.
More specifically, the 18-year-old racer will now contest Rally Mexico, which is due to take place between the 13th and the 16th of March. He will do so on board his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, the same machine he used at his WRC debut at Rally GB- Wales 2019. The Swedish-Norwegian racer has thus secured a place at the first three initial races of the 2020 WRC calendar.
On the 27th of January, a few days after the Alpine race and after having demonstrated what he is made of, Skoda Motorsport decided to officially support him.
The partnership would give him the wheel of a Fabia Rally2 evo to compete part-time within the WRC3 category of the WRC. The good news is that he will alternate this new challenge while continuing his programme of races with his German machine.
He will, therefore, seat at the wheel of the Polo GTI as well as that of the Fabia for a still to be determined number of races. He will accrue some very valuable in-race kilometres and experience, as well as becoming more versatile given the difference between the two machines.
Here's a cool little preview clip from my first test with the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo! ❄️ We had a good feeling nice and quickly so hopefully can start @RallySweden well despite it being a new car for us! @MotorsportSkoda pic.twitter.com/3rwqizZmS0
— Oliver Solberg (@OliverSolberg01) January 29, 2020
Straight after signing the deal with Skoda Motorsport, which belongs to the VW Group, he tried on his new working tool. At the end of January, Solberg also announced he was going to take the wheel of the Mlada Boleslav machine at the WRC3 in Rally Sweden, which is taking place from the 13th to the 16th of February.
He couldn’t have dreamt of a better debut with the Fabia than surrounded by the warmth and support of his home fans.
The classic Scandinavian race was almost cancelled due to the lack of snow after the unusually high temperatures for this time of the year at the region. In the end, a last-minute decision involving a dramatic shortening of the total distance and the number of stages has managed to save the rally this year.
But before facing the Swedish-Norwegian race, the young driver has been training with his Fabia in Spain. It is surprising that he has done so in dirt tracks when, in less than seven days, he will have to come face to face with ice and snow (or whatever is left of it) at his home country.
Other sources declare that Oliver might also take part in the Rally Safari, the sixth race of the calendar, which is to take place in July in Kenya.
In sum, and as Oliver Solberg himself has previously explained at interview, he continues to make his way to the WRC slowly but steadily, growing as a driver with every step of the way.
Images of Oliver Solberg: Skoda Motorsports.