20-01-17 Oliver looks to load
the odds in his favour in Monte Carlo
Oliver starts his World Rally Championship with a classic, the
18-year-old cant wait to take on the mountains in worlds most
Exciting year ahead for Monster Energys history-making youngster
Experience is everything for the family-run team in a Volkswagen Polo R5
Rallye Monte-Carlo is the oldest rally in the world. Naturally, things have
changed a fair bit since it ran for the first time in 1911, but the concepts
still pretty similar: its about a bunch of cars driving through the
French Alps, trying to work out whos fastest.
Monster Energy-backed 18-year-old Oliver Solberg is taking to the hills high
above the French Riviera for the first time next week.
Starting from Monacos world-famous Casino Square on Thursday (January
23) afternoon, the crews waste no time in getting to some of the seasons
most complicated and challenging stages. The itinerary dictates the photographs
and adulation of the principality will be followed by the 17.47-kilometre
test from Malijal to Puimichel.
Two nighttime stages take Oliver and his co-driver Aaron Johnston back north
to the service park in Gap, where the next two days are based. After Friday
and Saturday in the Hautes-Alpes, its another trip south to the harbourside
in Monte Carlo. Sundays final day comprises two stages run twice, one
of which is arguably the most famous test in the history of the series. The
road from La Bolléne-Vésubie to Piera Cava might not be instantly
recogniseable, but the name of the mountain pass over which that road passes
mostly certainly is. Its the Col de Turini.
The switchback Alpine stages are just part of the challenge of Rallye Monte-Carlo.
The other part comes in the shape of ever-changing weather and meteorological
microclimates which deliver widely differing grip levels from one corner to
Driving a Volkswagen Polo R5 run by his familys team, Oliver will experience
dry and wet asphalt, ice, snow, slush and just about everything in between
this week. And, whats more, because of the compromised tyre choice,
he can just about guarantee hell be on the wrong tyre much of the time.
Get through and an appointment with Prince Albert II awaits you outside his
Palace on a Sunday afternoon. Get through faster than anybody else and you
become a member of an exclusive and distinguished band of motorsport heroes.
You become a Monte Carlo winner.
Rallye Monte-Carlos waiting. How do you feel?
OS: Its so exciting. I know I have been excited a lot by things in the
last 12 months competing in a Subaru in the same colours as my father
in America, making my debut in the WRC with him in Wales, becoming the youngest
driver ever to win a round of the FIA European Rally Championship but
this is reallyspecial. Its Monte Carlo!
How much do you know about the event?
OS: I know its tough. One of the toughest. My Dad has told me a lot
of stories about how difficult the rally will be. Because of the way rallies
run, we have to choose our tyres for a loop of stages really early. Really
early in the morning, well be deciding on the tyres were still
going to be using at lunchtime you have to try to understand what the
weathers going to do.
Its a gamble?
OS: Its a big gamble starting in the casino!
How was your test?
OS: Good. We drove near to Sisteron, where we were able to find some snow
and ice. Its so important to test in a place like this; its really
important for me to get the feeling of what the cars going to be doing
when its on the wrong tyres. In a test like this, its a lot about
preparing for the worst kind of situation. We did that.
Whats the key to Rallye Monte-Carlo?
OS: Youre asking me? Honestly, I dont know for myself. I will
find out next week. I think the biggest thing is to be comfortable in the
car and to be able to find confidence. If you have those two things then you
can deal a little bit more easily with whats coming. If you go to this
rally with a racing car set-up, ready to push hard then its easy to
have some trouble.
Whats your approach?
OS: To take experience. This rally is so specific we get one chance
each season to come to Rallye Monte-Carlo and to build up some ideas and some
knowledge of what the roads can be like and how the pacenotes work. This is
the priority for me. Im really not so worried about the times or the
speed or anything like that, I just want to get to the end of the stages and
keep building my experience.
Youre not competing in WRC 2 or WRC 3 in Monte Carlo, whats the
reason for that?
OS: I know this rally is going to be complicated. I never did anything like
this before. Even if the roads are all dry, I still have done virtually nothing
really on Tarmac. OK, we have some snow at home, but we have nothing like
the Monte stages. For this time, I dont want any pressure or anything,
I want to go to this rally, enjoy it and make the experience.
Finally, you lived in Monaco for a while do you remember much about
OS: I do. It was a really cool place to live and the sun was always shining.
The only problem with Monaco is that there wasnt really enough space.
When we moved back to the farm in Sweden, I could get out and about on the
quadbikes and snowmobiles there wasnt much chance of doing that
in Casino Square!
Competitive distance: 304.28km (189.07 miles)
Total distance: 1505.64km (935.60 miles)
Oliver Solberg in numbers:
Rallies started: 32
Rallies won: 8
WRC rounds started: 1
WRC debut: Wales Rally GB (2019)
Number of titles won: 9*
Want to know more?
Check the Words PR archive for chapter, verse and pictures of Olivers
career to date.
Make a date
Oliver will be available in the service park, Gap on Wednesday January 22
(2045-2100) for any questions.
*Olivers first championship was the Norwegian Crosskart title in 2012,
aged 11. He defended that win successfully and added a hat-trick of Nordic
Crosskart crowns in 2014, 15 and 16. Two years later hed switched to
cars and harnessed the 600bhp on offer from a DS 3 Supercar to be crowned
RallyX Nordic champ. The success kept on coming as he progressed into rallying
with a hat-trick of titles (Latvian Rally champion, Baltic Rally Trophy and
an Estonian class title) aboard the Volkswagen Polo R5 last season.
20-01-14 Ole Christian Veiby
skal kjøre for Hyundai Motorsport i 2020
Ole Christian Veiby har fått fabrikks-kontrakt med Hyundai Motorsport
og skal konkurrere i WRC2-klassen i en Hyundai i20 R5 i 2020. Jeg er
ganske stolt over at Hyundai Motorsport, som ble verdensmestere i rally i
2019, velger å satse på meg for neste år, sier Ole Christian.
Kongsvinger-gutten, som er regjerende norgesmester i rally, skal kjøre
en Hyundai i20 R5 20 med kartleser Jonas Andersson på minst 8
VM-runder i 2020. Team-kollega blir Nikolay Gryazin. R5-satsingen til Hyundai
Motorsport vil driftes av RedGrey Team fra Estland i nært samarbeid
med Hyundai Motorsport og de vil konkurrere for Hyundai Motorsport N, i WRC2-klassen,
som er det nye navnet på WRC2pro-klassen. Det som tidligere var WRC2-klassen,
har nå byttet navn til WRC3.
Ole Christian Veiby sier:
«Det er en ubeskrivelig god følelse, og jeg gleder meg til å
kjøre for Hyundai Motorsport neste år. Jeg er ganske sikker på
at vi kommer til å bli ett sterkt team. Jeg håper også at
erfaringen jeg har fra andre R5-biler kommer godt med i videreutvikling av
bilen. Jeg har jo fått konkurrert med i20en ved ett par anledninger
allerede, så jeg føler jeg kan sette ett hårete mål
for sesongen, det er vel bare totalseier som gjelder!»
23-åringen har i 2019 sesongen konkurrert både i Rally-VM og Rally-NM,
og kan skilte med en imponerende tredjeplass fra det legendariske Rallye Monte
Carlo og seier i Sverige. Han vant også 4 av 5 kjørte NM-runder
og ble dermed årets norgesmester i Rally.
Roy Snellingen, sportssjef i EVEN management sier:
«Vi i EVEN management er meget godt fornøyd med at Ole Christian
og Jonas får denne muligheten i et knalltøft førermarked.
Vi har med dette en solid sportslig pakke med mye kjøring som må
til for å utvikle gutta ytterligere. Vi er allerede godt i gang med
å planlegge neste sesong og det gjelder nå og utnytte erfaringen
gutta har, maksimere alle nye muligheter og jobbe systematisk hard med et
Første løp på agendaen er klassikeren Rallye Monte-Carlo
som kjøres på snø og is i de franske alpene 23
26 januar 2020. Her er både Ole Christian Veiby og Mads Østberg
påmeldt i WRC2-klassen, og vi finner også Oliver Solberg på
start-listen i en R5-bil.