Oliver Solberg returns to Skoda Fabia for Rally Italy

The pandemic has left Solberg in his own VW for most of this year, but he's now back with Skoda

Oliver Solberg

Oliver Solberg will return to the wheel of a Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo at next week’s Rally Italy Sardinia.

The 19-year-old has been contracted to the firm since the start of the season, but his planned World Rally Championship-3 program aboard a Fabia has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. He had been tipped to drive the Škoda in Estonia, before the pandemic meant border issues between the Czech Republic and Estonia made it impossible for the team to bring the car.

In the Škoda’s absence, Solberg has been pedalling a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

“It will be really nice to be back in the Škoda,” said Solberg. “It’s incredible to think what has happened in the world since I was last driving the car in Sweden. I don’t think anybody would have believed us if we’d said that would be the last time for nearly eight months that I would compete in the Fabia.

“But the best thing is to look forwards and not to think too much about how tough it’s been through the summer.

“While I didn’t do any competition [in the Fabia] I have done some testing, which has given me some good experience. I’m excited to drive it in Italy. Of course Sardinia is a new event and a really difficult one; one where you have to drive a lot with the head – especially looking out for the rocks on the second pass.”

Solberg’s Swedish Škoda debut was spoiled by a puncture in February. Having won a stage and run at the sharp end of the WRC3 pack, he missed a podium when the left-rear punctured on the powerstage.

Prior to Solberg’s return to Fabia Rally2 eve power, he will contest this week’s Rally Fafe Montelongo aboard his own Polo R5 as part of his European Rally Championship title challenge.