Intercontinental rally weekend: Wins for Oliver Solberg, Nasser Al-Attiyah
While most of the rally fans were watching Argentinean round of the World Rally Championship, where Thierry Neuville celebrated a victory, plenty of interesting rally events took place on the previous weekend all over the world, from the US across Europe to Asia. The most interesting were Olympus Rally and Jordan Rally, because once upon a time both events were in the World Rally Championship.
Oliver Solberg, the 17-year-old son of former world rally champion Petter Solberg, competes this year in the ARA (American Rally Association) Championship, driving a Subaru Impreza WRX STi for Subaru of America. After finishing second at Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in March, young Solberg scored his first North American victory at Olympus Rally.
He was sharing a car with the Frenchman Denis Giraudet, one of the world’s most experienced rally navigators. Solberg won a rally ahead of multiple North American champion David Higgins.
On the other side of the world, in the Middle East, the Jordan Rally was the second round of the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC). Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel took an easy victory in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. Al-Attiyah is a defending MERC champion and this was his second win this year.
In Europe, many national championships were on a menu. British Rally Championship (BRC) has been continued with the Pirelli International Rally in Carlisle as the third round. Tom Cave took the victory in a Hyundai i20 R5, extending the lead in the championship. He shared a podium with Rhys Yates (Škoda Fabia R5) and Jari Huttunen (Hyundai i20 R5).
In Belgium, Adrian Fernemont (Škoda Fabia R5) has won 36th Rallye de Wallonie, the fourth round of the Belgian championship. After twenty-two special stages, he defeated Cedric Cherain (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) by just three seconds.
In the Czech Republic, the 54th Rally Šumava Klatovy was the second round of the national championship. Škoda Motorsport’s Jan Kopecky dominated in the event in a Škoda Fabia R5, setting the fastest times at ten of fourteen stages, but he lost a victory because he had to change a punctured tire at SS8. In the end, Vaclav Pech Jr. (Ford Fiesta R5) was the winner, with a 12.7sec gap over Kopecky.
In Poland, the 47th Rajd Swidnicki was the first round of the national championship. Mikolaj Marczyk took the victory in a Škoda Fabia R5. In Slovenia, the championship was opened with Rally Vipavska Dolina. Defending champion Rok Turk won the rally in a Hyundai i20 R5.