Solberg loses WRC2 lead because of SS15 donuts

He was hit with a 1-minute penalty for "exhibition driving"

Oliver Solberg

Oliver Solberg has lost his WRC2 lead on Rally of Portugal after being hit with a one-minute time penalty for exhibition driving at the end of SS15.

Solberg had been in command of WRC2, ending Saturday with a 35.8-second lead, but overnight he received a penalty for exhibition driving at the end of Saturday’s superspecial stage.

Having completed the Lousada superspecial, Solberg went on to carry out some donuts between the flying finish and the stop control in order to put on a show for the fans.

However, stewards confirmed that exhibition driving of any kind is forbidden everywhere on Rally of Portugal due to the lack of space and that this was documented in Article 12.21 of the supplementary regulations.

Solberg stated that he did not have knowledge of this supplementary regulation and thought the superspecial was a show special stage. As such, he felt doing some donuts was putting on a great show for the fans.

He subsequently apologized for not knowing about the regulation, adding that he didn’t believe it was done in an unsafe manner, but the stewards felt he did not respect the regulations and so hit him with the time penalty.

As a result of the penalty, Solberg drops to second overall, 24.6 seconds behind new leader Gus Greensmith.