Oliver “was like a Finn” in Sweden – Petter Solberg

The 2003 WRC champion feels his son conducted himself like a Finn on his way to Royal Rally of Scandinavia victory


Oliver Solberg’s nationality can sometimes cause debate.

Is he Norwegian? Is he Swedish? His dad’s Norwegian, but his mom’s Swedish. He was born in Norway, but lives in Sweden.

He even carried both nation’s flags on his race boots during his part-time season at Hyundai Motorsport last year.

The one Scandinavian country Solberg has never been associated with however is Finland.

That was until he won round five of this year’s European Rally Championship, Royal Rally of Scandinavia.


Which was based in Karlstad, Sweden – just to add to any confusion.

But Oliver’s father, 2003 World Rally champion Petter Solberg, feels there was something very Finnish in the way Oliver delivered victory over Hayden Paddon considering the pressure he was under as the home hero and pre-event favorite.

“This is maybe the first rally we haven’t focused on Oliver at all,” Petter, who was one of several members of the Solberg family to be competing in the Legends event, told DirtFish.

“But in all the interviews, we have never seen him like that. He was stone cold basically – he looked like a Finn in the interviews!

“Properly short answers but it worked out well, so quite impressed with that with all the pressure from the locals. He was putting more pressure on himself anyway, but it was good. Very good.”

Oliver however feels he was under more pressure on the Umeå-based Rally Sweden earlier this year where he took victory in WRC2.

“Of course you feel pressure, but it’s been mostly just fun and enjoying ourselves driving,” he told DirtFish.

Oliver Solberg

“Today [Saturday] I feel the pressure came more – I struggled to find a rhythm on the first one this morning and said ‘ah s*** I need to find it now, quickly, before Hayden gets up to speed’ but yeah obviously automatically pressure comes, but [it was] not so bad.

“Not as bad as Rally Sweden.”

Achieving victory so close to home made Solberg’s ERC success even more special though.

“It’s been a lot of wins but this probably is one of the most special ones just because it’s home. Home, you know?” he said.

“Rally Sweden was special, but this is not far from home and to be fighting so hard against Hayden the whole weekend it’s been good fun and very, very tough!

“You need to be on the limit all the time but it’s been great and I think me and Hayden have had no moments really, even though we’ve been pushing hard it’s been good.”