What Solberg made of the R.A.C. Rally

The WRC star has given his verdict on the car, the stages and the gruelling five day event itself


The dust has settled. So, what did he think? What did Oliver Solberg really think of the sport’s yesterdays? Of two less driven wheels and two more days of rallying?

In short, he loved it. Will he be back? Maybe. But not for now. For now, it’s back to the day job, back to the World Rally Championship and back to the road to becoming a World Rally champion.

“It was so much fun,” he grinned a couple of days down the road from the Roger Albert Clark Rally.

“Did you see the start? Did you see the people? So many people, they were everywhere! It was so cool to see the fans getting into service and on the road section and in the stages. Like I said, they were everywhere and so passionate for the sport.


“It was definitely one of the most enjoyable things I have done for the whole year. It was a real challenge, the roads were fantastic, the night stages were amazing and, of course, the car was something special. It was such a shame to have the driveshaft break, but that’s one of those things. It can happen.

“The big thing for me was the passion from the fans and the real appreciation for what we were doing and what the organizers of the event has done.”

Prior to that transmission issue, Solberg had the event by the throat. With a five-minute lead, it was his to lose. Did the occasion make up for the loss of the win?

“No,” he said, enthusiasm briefly tempered by the ultimate competitive spirit. “Winning matters: every race is a race and I really wanted to win this one – it’s such a big thing. A lot of people have been asking me if I’ll come back and of, of course, I would really like to, but it’s not a priority for me now.

“Now I am focused on next season and what we do in 2024.”

Prior to the event, fellow Ford Escort RS1800 driver – and five-time world rally winner – Kris Meeke had identified the 22-year-old as the man to beat.

“Oliver,” said the Northern Irishman, “has a s***-load of pace.”


He wasn’t wrong. Of the 25 stages he completed, he won 20 of them. That’s in a car he’d never driven on the loose before.

Whichever way you look at it, that’s impressive.

“I was happy with the speed,” Solberg told DirtFish. “It was nice it was noticed that we were able to win those stages when we didn’t have the experience for the car. I had some nice messages about the car control.

“Honestly though, those four and a bit days, that was just pure driving and sharing the passion with the people… that’s what I loved.”