Sat 01 Jul 2023

No walking in the park for ERC returnee Veiby

Ole Christian Veiby is in no doubt that the strong level of competition in the FIA European Rally Championship means next week’s BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia won’t be a “walk in the park”.

Norwegian Veiby, a two-time WRC2 event winner, is making a rare ERC start on the Karlstad-based event from 6 - 8 July.

He has joined forces with his former co-driver Jonas Andersson to pilot a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 for Kristoffersson Motorsport, the team behind his FIA World Rallycross Championship bid in Höljes, Sweden, this weekend.

“The ERC is fantastic, it has developed so much over the years and there are so many fast drivers, different cars, different tyre brands,” 27-year-old Veiby said. “It’s tight competition and the level is really, really high. It’s not a walk in the park to go there and win and if you win a rally in that championship you have done something good.”

With World RX very much his focus, Veiby hasn’t rallied since March and only confirmed his BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia participation in recent weeks.

“When it was announced that they will do the proper Rally Sweden style but on gravel, this we had to do, stages that I knew from before with good memories from the time it was on snow,” said Veiby. “But the World RX has been busy with a race every other weekend and the guys who prepare the rally car [also prepare the rallycross car], so somehow we decided [we could] not do the rally. But then our main sponsor, BAUHAUS, definitely wanted us to go there because they are the main sponsor for the rally, so we sorted it out.

“It’s going to be really cool to see how the stages look like in the summer. Okay a lot of drivers have done Rally Sweden on some of the stages but it’s a totally different thing to come there in the summertime. Maybe you’ll recognise some corners and things like that but the whole rally will be new for everyone and that will be very exciting.”

Veiby, who is due to take part in a one-day test before the rally, continued: “It’s not so good preparations as we hoped and I don’t have very big expectations because these guys have been driving so much already this year and they have the speed up. Rallycross is the priority and has been for one year. We focus on this and then we switch our mind to next week. It’s a switch but I’ve done this so many times and it’s going to be fun. I want to fight for a podium.”

Ticket details and more BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia information is available at: https://ercroyalrally.com.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM