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Fri 17 Feb 2023

Why ERC Royal Rally of Scandinavia could be a big Solberg family affair

The all-new ERC Royal Rally of Scandinavia could be a big family affair for the region’s greatest rallying dynasty after Petter Solberg revealed plans to contest the Karlstad-based event this summer.

Solberg, the winner of the 2003 FIA World Rally Championship, is working on a plan to take to the high-speed gravel stages close to his home with several members of his family set to join him for the adventure.

“It will be a dream for many people to do the stages on gravel compared to snow because they are proper stages,” Solberg said. “If it works like we want, and they make [a special] class, then the plan will be for all the Solberg and Walfridsson families to do the rally because it’s so close to the workshop. If that could happen then it would be a fantastic atmosphere.

“I think I will use the Subaru world championship-winning car, my brother [Henning] in the [Toyota Celica ST] 185, Pernilla [Walfridsson-Solberg] back in the Mitsubishi and Oliver’s cousin [Oscar] maybe in an Escort but we will find out. It could be good fun and we are here for the show.”

ERC Royal Rally of Scandinavia is gearing up to host round five of the 2023 FIA European Rally Championship season from 6 - 8 July. Solberg and Walfridsson’s 21-year-old son Oliver, a former Junior ERC champion, is expected to contest the event and will be among the favourites for victory alongside co-driver Elliott Edmondson.

“Of course [he can be] but it’s tough, the European championship is very hard and competitive,” Solberg Sr said. “It’s a nice name for a rally and it could have a great future in the European championship. The Colin’s Crest Arena will be a proper stage, it will be very interesting.”