How Oliver Solberg made WRC history

DirtFish turned to to confirm the WRC history books had been rewritten


Oliver Solberg and Elliott Edmondson made history on Friday night, ending the leg of a World Rally Championship round in third place overall in their Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 is a first for the series.

Other drivers have ended a day in the top-three in one of the WRC’s second-tier motors – usually following a Thursday night superspecial, but nobody has ever completed a full day of WRC competition in a provision podium place in a Rally2 car before now.

The most memorable Thursday night performance came in 2019. Who was it?

Petter Solberg. It had to be.

WRC Wales Rally Great Britain 03 - 06 October 2019

Trust Mr Hollywood to deliver a blockbuster opening

On what would be the 2003 world champion’s final WRC outing, he posted third quickest on the Oulton Park opener at Rally GB. That being the only stage on the Thursday night, Solberg Sr went to bed in a provisional podium position.

That’s good. But what his son has done is even better.

Granted, Solberg Jr has enjoyed improved grip compared with those ahead of him on the road, but the Monster Energy Škoda is third overall on merit. Staying third tomorrow will be a tall order, however, with conditions improving, less snow forecast and the drivers classified around him running in a similar road position.

So, Solberg makes history. But who else has pedaled a Rally2 or R5 car hard enough to hit the top-three?


It's little surprise to see the combination of Andreas Mikkelsen and Škoda feature here

Teemu Suninen split his senior Hyundai team-mates Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo at the Acropolis Rally’s stadium-stage opener with second place in 2022. Ott Tänak managed a similar second quickest on Rally México’s Guanajuato opener a decade ago. Ole Christian Veiby’s third fastest through St. Wendel in Germany 2018 was impressive, until fellow Fabia driver Kalle Rovanperä beat him to go second.

Germany’s been a happy hunting ground for the class battlers, with Jan Kopecky scoring an incredible fastest time at the tight and twisty Saarbrücken curtain-raiser in a Fabia R5 in 2017.

Away from the superspecials, Andreas Mikkelsen made the most of changeable and complicated winter conditions at Monza Rally in 2020. The Norwegian completed SS3 third overall in a Škoda, fractionally ahead of soon-to-be world champion Sébastien Ogier.