Thu 30 May 2024

Oliver versus Petter in ERC as Solberg Jr returns to defend Royal Rally crown

Oliver Solberg will take on his legendary father Petter when he bids to make it two BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia victories in a row next month.

The 22-year-old claimed his third FIA European Rally Championship career win when he triumphed in Karlstad last July.  

As well as taking on the ERC elite in his pursuit of more success on the high-speed gravel event, Solberg Jr will battle his father Petter for honours on round three of the European season.  

“It’s going to be really nice to compete on another event with my father,” said Oliver, who went up against 49-year-old Petter on Wales Rally GB in 2019.   

On that occasion, Petter took the WRC2 victory with Oliver stopping due to a mechanical failure.  

Despite his lack of recent competition time, Oliver reckons his father will hold his own when BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia takes place from 13 - 15 June.

“Of course, it’s going to be interesting to look to the times and, yes, probably when I’m at the end of the stage, his is going to be the first one I look for,” Oliver said. “And I think he can be fast. We were doing some driving together over the winter and he’s still got it, he was still right there.   

“I think he talked a little bit about the pacenotes – this is probably going to be the more complicated part for him, putting all the trust in the notes again is tricky after so long time away. But for me, I can’t wait to get out there again. Driving the Škoda will be fantastic in these stages and trying to push for another win.  

“This really is my home event, it’s half-an-hour from home, so you imagine it’s a special one. I remember last year the itinerary was one of the best of the year. We do [the] Qualifying Stage on Friday morning, then into the rally and a full day on Saturday, Power Stage Saturday night and then everybody can relax and have a big party. The fans and the atmosphere around this place was just fantastic. I look forward to this again.”

Apart from chasing ERC win number four, Solberg Jr will use BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia to prepare for the fast-paced FIA World Rally Championship rounds in Poland, Latvia and Finland, which he’ll contest in the WRC2 division.  

“With events like Poland, Latvia and Finland coming, it’s a really good opportunity to get some fast gravel mileage in,” he said. “When you have come from rallies like Sardinia, which tend to be a bit slower, a bit more technical and twisty, it’s good to get the speed up and get your head in the place it needs to be for places like Finland.”  

BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia ticket information is available here:

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