Fri 21 Jun 2024

ERC Take Five with Elliott Edmondson and Oliver Solberg

After winning the first BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia in 2023, Oliver Solberg and co-driver Elliott Edmondson were winners again when the Swedish city of Karlstad hosted round three of the 2024 FIA European Rally Championship last weekend.

This is what the ace pairing had to say following their latest success on the high-speed roads of the Värmland region.  

Another year and another ERC win in Sweden. How good was this performance?
EE: “The performance from Oliver has been absolutely outstanding again. It felt pretty special last year but to come here again and get the same result is really incredible. It’s a credit to Oliver, it’s such a pleasure to sit alongside and watch the way he drives, it’s really, really incredible.”  

It was a pretty dominant display too with the fastest time on all eight stages on Saturday, the perfect day perhaps?
“We only realised on the way back [to the finish] we were fastest on every stage, so it was the perfect day. It felt a lot easier today than it did yesterday, we were very comfortable in the car and it felt very under control, which is a really nice feeling. We could really enjoy the stages and the stages today really were amazing. It was such a pleasure to be able to drive on them. Obviously the result and everything else was just the icing on the cake.”

But there was more to the result than just winning, right?
 “Exactly that. It was nice to come here as a standalone event and try to repeat the win from last year but there was a second point to this weekend, which was to gain some miles in the car ahead of the fast events we’ve got coming up in the WRC, the likes of Poland and Latvia, which are not so dissimilar to the stages [in Sweden]. So it was a good opportunity to do Oliver’s home rally but to get some good testing ahead of those events.”  

How did the result compare to 2023 and how did the competition in the ERC measure up?
“Doing this rally was a mix. For sure I wanted to learn for the next WRC events, that’s why I invested to do this privately and it was the target to get better for the world championship. But a race is a race, as always, so you want to win. Yesterday I wasn’t happy but today the feeling is better, the car suits better today’s roads and I found good confidence. The car slides a lot on these roads but today’s roads were wider and you have more margin so the speed was good and like this you have to be happy. But there are such small gaps. Yesterday for me the level here was much higher than WRC2. It was so close in the times, it was crazy, fantastic.”

There were two Solbergs in action on BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia. How did the older model (above) do? OS: 
“Not bad. For sure it was very difficult for him because the roads are so fast and you have to commit on your pacenotes 100 per cent. He hadn’t driven anything for five years so it was not easy to trust the pacenotes. That was where the struggle was for him.”

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