After a near-two years break from rallycross, Oliver Solberg made his comeback at the All-Star ‘Magic Weekend‘ with two strong results including a round two podium in the RallyX Nordic series.
Oliver, son of two-time FIA World Rallycross and 2003 World Rally champion Petter Solberg, has focused on his rallying career since 2018, driving for both his own team in the European and World Rally championships as well as for Subaru in the United States.
This weekend saw Solberg Jnr again compete in the Citreon DS3 that he took the 2018 RallyX Nordic title with – the same car that his Dad won both the 2014 and 2015 World RX series in also.
Desciribing his ‘Magic Weekend’, Solberg said: “Honestly, I didn’t know what it would be like against these guys, I did a small test with the DS3 last week and straight away I was smiling again – that’s what happens when you have 600bhp.”
“In the first part of the double-header, I was remembering the strategy and how to drive rallycross again. In Q3, I got some damage on the car when the guys were hitting me a bit from behind.” Solberg said.
“We made the final in part one and I was fourth. Maybe I could have made a better plan for the joker lap, this was my fault. I was really looking forward to the weekend then and trying to make Sunday’s second final [at part two of the All-Star Magic Weekend double-header].”
Solberg took the win in Q3 on Sunday morning and nearly repeated the fate in Q4 after a battle with Johan Kristoffersson. He did however go on to win his semi-final heat.
Solberg continued: “The rain has been incredible, it just didn’t stop. We had some big puddles out there, a lot of standing water. But it’s still so cool to drive these cars and race these guys.”
“I got a really good start, I did my part of the plan, but those guys [Kristoffersson and Robin Larsson] let me down a bit – they were supposed to make bad starts and let me fly through to the lead!” Oliver continued.
“I forgot a little bit that Johan doesn’t do bad anything in rallycross! I would never have beaten him, he’s so quick in the wet. I’ve watched his onboards so many times and to see him do it again in this race was really impressive. And Larsson was quick as well. Maybe if it had been dry, I hope it would have been closer, but this was like Wales Rally GB times 10!”
“There was so little grip in the wet, when the rain was coming I said to myself that I would just do my best and drive my own race. I’m really happy to come back to rallycross again and come away with this podium position. Would this have been possible if Niclas [Grönholm] didn’t have his problem in his semi-final? I don’t know.
“He (Grönholm) was so quick this weekend, he drove really clean all the time and he really deserved more than what happened to him [his car stalled on the start line].”
Solberg is now focusing again on his rallying commitments where he is currently competing in WRC3 for Skoda Motorsport in a Fabia R5.
“I have to say a big thank you to the whole team, they worked really hard to get this car quick and it really worked. To come here in a car my father used to win the 2014 and 2015 World Rallycross Championship with and still be at the front is good. I’m happy.”
“And we have to say another very big thank you to the organisers of this event and to the production company making the television coverage. You know, right now, it’s not really a normal time and to put on this All-Star Magic Weekend has been fantastic effort from so many people.” Oliver added.