Solberg loses wheel and retires from Sanremo

Hyundai driver was sixth before running wide and ripping off his left-rear wheel


Hyundai Motorsport rising star Oliver Solberg has dropped out of Rally Sanremo after losing the left-rear wheel of his i20 R5 due to running wide on the third stage.

Solberg with co-driver Aaron Johnston sat 4.6 seconds off the pace after Saturday’s 1.2-mile opening stage of the second round of this year’s Italian championship, then on Sunday’s San Bartolomeo opening run Solberg set the fourth-fastest time to sit sixth overall, 6.1s off the rally lead.

However on the third stage, the first run through Colle d’Oggia, he ran wide and sustained damage that ended his rally early.

“So unfortunately that’s the rally ended quite quickly for us,” Solberg said on a video posted on social media.

“We had good speed in the first stage, and I felt quite good on the second stage, and then unfortunately we went a bit wide and touched a little bit with the wheel, and then at the end the wheel fell [off]. So yeah, not so much to do.”


Photo: ACI Sport

Italian Fabio Andolfi in a Gass Racing Škoda Fabia R5 leads the eight-stage asphalt rally at its halfway point after this morning’s running, just 0.7s clear of reigning Italian champion Andrea Crugnola in a Hyundai Rally Team Italia i20 R5.

Twice European Rally Champion Giandomenico Basso in a Movisport SRL Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo is third, just 1.2s off Andolfi while World Rally Championship star Craig Breen, also in a Hyundai, sits fourth 3.6s shy of the pace, having topped two of the four stages so far.


Photo: Henri Rump

Ott Tänak heads his team-mate Thierry Neuville in the WRC event by 1.7s after three of the event’s seven stages.

Tänak was quickest out of the blocks but recieved a 10s penalty for jumping the start so was trailing Neuville by 8.3s, but Neuville then picked up a 10s penalty of his own for checking in late to a time control.

Pierre-Louis Loubet is in third, 12.8s behind Tänak.

There are four stages still to run this afternoon.