Sun 09 Jul 2023

ERC Take Five with Oliver Solberg

Oliver Solberg became the fourth different winner in this season’s FIA European Rally Championship with a standout victory on the first running of BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia yesterday (Saturday). This is what the 21-year-old Swede had to say afterwards.

How good does it feel to win your home round of the ERC?
“Incredible, first of all it’s at home, okay I won [WRC2 on] Rally Sweden in the World Rally Championship, but this is ‘home home’ and it’s really special, incredible. Also, to win the at the same time as my best friend [Isak Reiersen] is a fantastic feeling and it’s not every day you do that. And also with the whole family around it’s not every day you do that. The race itself was incredibly tough against Hayden and the other guys but the big push against Hayden was fun.”

Not many drivers also have to build and prepare their own rally cars but you did, does that make your success extra special?
“It’s really good actually. Me and my friends were building the car together for two weeks. Obviously there were some small issues during the weekend but otherwise it’s been great.”

Although you’re not in the fight for the ERC title this year, this is still an important win for you, right?
“This is one of the best wins and there is still the prestige, still you want to win and do well. It’s not any easier here than in the world championship so still you need to push to the maximum. It really showed this weekend that the pace here is as high as anywhere else. It’s very, very good.”

At what point did you realise you could win this rally?
“I tried to make my mark early on the first two stages of the afternoon and win those and hopefully Hayden would back off. He realised he couldn’t catch me so that was good.”

And a quick word about your friend Isak Reiersen, who won Junior ERC after a very impressive drive. You’ve known each other for a long time but what do you think of his performance?
We’ve been friends since we were kids, we’ve won cross karts many times together and we won our first rally together so it’s an incredible feeling. I’ve always known he was a good driver so at least we are not meeting each other yet [in the same category].”

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