On only his second Rallye Monte-Carlo start, Norwegian driver Ole Christian Veiby took an impressive victory in the WRC3 class.
Driving the Printsport Citroën DS3 R3T Max, the 19-year-old finished the rally almost four minutes ahead of his nearest competitor Jordan Berfa in the Peugeot Rally Academy Peugeot 208 VTi R2.
“This is probably the biggest thing I have experienced as a rally driver. To win Rally Monte-Carlo is prestigious,” said a delighted Veiby.
“To win in Monte Carlo is huge. It is something I have dreamt about since I was a kid. That it would happen this early in my career is incredibly big”
“We have driven at a comfortable pace all weekend. At this event it is important to be smart and make the right tyre choice. I feel like we did that and I would like to share the credit for that with my ice crew, the guys who drive through the stages and give me feedback on the conditions. The whole team has done a fantastic job”
Despite his so far short rally career, the young Norwegian demonstrated a mature approach to the rally that saw him walk away with WRC3 victory and a ninteenth place overall finish.
“We started our rally wisely, but at the same time we put distance between us and the others and built up a good lead. That gives you confidence, yet it is not easy. You can not relax and take it easy. If you try to take it easy at a rally, you can quickly lose the rhythm in your driving. So that is why we just continued to do our own race” he explained.
While competitors across the classes struggled with technical problems and driving errors, Veiby had a relatively trouble free rally.
“For us, this was a completely trouble free rally, without any technical challenges of any kind. The only thing that happened was that we hit the brakes a little late in a junction and had to reverse, but it was very undramatic. I’m a bit surprised that the time differences were so big since there were so many two wheel drive cars in the field”
Veiby takes on the Rally Finnskog on 6 February with new co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen taking the place of Jonas Andersson.
“Jonas has done a fantastic job and it worked perfectly from the first stage” said Veiby. “It is nice to bring that knowledge to Rally Finnskog in a couple of weeks and to Rally Sweden the weekend after that.”
While Veiby is comfortable with the WRC3 machinery he will step up to the WRC2 class machinery with a Skoda Fabia R5 for his next two rallies.
“At those events I will drive a Skoda Fabia R5 in the WRC 2 class. This is a four wheel drive car and it will be fun to compete against drivers like Mads Østberg and last year’s Norwegian rally champion Eyvind Brynildsen, who both will do Rally Finnskog in Ford Fiesta R5’s.”