European rally weekend: Maiden victory for Oliver Solberg
Oliver Solberg, the 17-year-old son of former world rally champion Petter Solberg, clinched his first overall victory in rally event by winning the 9th Rally Alūksne, the first round of the Estonian and Latvian rally championships.
After ten stages, driving the #6 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 and navigated by Briton Aaron Johnston, the young Solberg took the victory with a 16sec advantage over Valery Gorban in a Mini John Cooper Works WRC. Polish driver Lukasz Habaj (Škoda Fabia R5) completed the podium.
It was just 20th rally event in a career for Oliver Solberg, who is following a path of his famous father both in rallying and rallycross. In 2018, Oliver became the Nordic rallycross champion and finished as the second best junior in the Latvian rally championship.
Another member of the Solberg family gained a good result this weekend. Oliver’s uncle and Petter’s brother Henning Solberg finished second at Sigdalsrally, the opening round of the Norwegian Rally Championship. At the wheel of the #1 Škoda Fabia R5, navigated by Ilka Minor-Petrasko, Henning Solberg lost a victory by 34.2 seconds to Russian driver Nikolay Gryazin in another Škoda Fabia. Ole-Christian Veiby (VW Polo GTI R5) completed the podium.
One of the entrants at Sigdalsrally was Mads Ostberg, ahead of his debut with Citroen C3 R5 in the WRC2 Championship at Rally Sweden, but his Subaru Impreza suffered a technical failure before the starts of Special Stage 1.