Kristian Sohlberg, also known as Krisse, is a Finnish former rally driver who recorded 32 starts in the FIA World Rally Championship between 2000 and 2014, driving mostly for private teams but also for a Mitsubishi factory team. His greatest success was the second place in the 2002 Production WRC championship.
WRC debut at 2000 Rally Finland in a Mitsubishi Carisma
Born in February 1978 in Espoo, Kristian Sohlberg started rallying in 1997. He opened his international rally career in 2000, driving a Mitsubishi Carisma GT for Blue Rose Team in many Finnish national events but also at German Pneumant Rally, a part of the European Rally Championship, and also at Rally Finland, the round of the World Rally Championship. In his WRC debut, alongside navigator Jussi Aarianinen, Sohlberg didn't reach the finish, retiring on the last day.
In 2001, Sohlberg continued to compete mostly in Finnish national events, visiting two WRC round – Swedish Rally and Rally Finland, with Juha Akko as his new co-driver. He crashed out at Swedish snow and retired with mechanical problems in Finland.
Kristian Sohlberg in 2002
Production WRC vice-champion in 2002
In 2002, Solhlberg entered the full season of the Production WRC competition in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, later switching to Lancer Evo VII. He was a class winner at Swedish Rally and then Rally New Zealand.
At the end of the season, after seven WRC rallies, Sohlberg was a PWRC vice-champion, behind Malaysian driver Karamjit Singh. In 2002, Sohlberg's navigator for most of the season was Jakke Honkanen.
Kristian Sohlberg in 2004
Two seasons with Mitsubishi Motors factory team
In 2003, Sohlberg and Honkanen joined Mitsubishi Motors factory team in three WRC events, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC2 in Sweden, New Zealand and Germany. He finished 12th in Sweden, retired at New Zealand and finished 14th in Germany.
In 2004, Sohlberg's WRC schedule had been expanded to six events, five of them with Mitsubishi Motors team. His new navigator was Kaj Lindström. They didn't finish either one of those six events.
Kristian Sohlberg at 2006 Rally Italia d'Sardegna
Scoring maiden WRC points at 2006 Rally Italia d'Sardegna
In 2005, Solhlberg recorded three WRC starts, driving a Ford Focus RS WRC at Swedish Rally and Subaru Impreza S10 WRC in Greece and Finland. He finished 11th in Greece and retired in other two events. Outside WRC, he was driving various WRC cars in Finnish championship, ending a season third in Class A points.
In 2006, Sohlberg scored his maiden WRC points with a sixth-place finish at Rally Italia d'Sardegna, driving a Subaru Impreza S11 WRC for Red Devil Atolye Kazaz team. His other two WRC events in 2006 were Swedish Rally and Rally Finland, recording DNFs at both.
Kristian Sohlberg in 2007
Five WRC starts and two PWRC podiums in 2007
In 2007, Sohlberg returned to Production WRC category, fighting for the points in four rallies with Subaru Impreza STI N12. He was on a podium two times, finishing third at Swedish Rally and Rally Mexico.
Outside PWRC, he participated in one event in a World Rally Car, using a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 05 at Rally Finland. He retired after an accident. His navigator in 2007 was Risto Pietiläinen.
Kristian Sohlberg at 2014 Rally Sweden
Six seasons out of WRC, short return in 2014
The season 2007 was Sohlberg's last in the World Rally Championship before his short return in 2014. In the meantime, he was driving different cars in Finnish national events. In 2008, his cars were Fiat Abarth Grande Punto S2000 and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. From 2009 to 2011, he was driving Subaru Impreza STI. In 2012, he participated in just one rally in a Citroen DS3 R3T.
In 2014, Sohlberg returned to World Rally Championship, participating in two events in a Ford Fiesta R5, at Rally Sweden and Rally Finland. He retired in both events. He also had a one-off attempt in the European Rally Championship, finishing 10th at Rally Estonia. Sohlberg's navigator in all events between 2008 and 2014 was Peter Flythström.
Kristian Sohlberg in 2015
One guest-appearance in the World Rallycross Championship
Since 2014, Sohlberg is out of rallying. His only racing attempt in that period was a one-off appearance in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. He was driving a Peugeot 208 WRX for Albatec Racing at Turkish round at Istanbul Park, finishing in 16th place and earning one championship point.
When not racing, Kristian Sohlberg is a rally trainer and instructor in his own rally school.