Solberg technical drama cancels Safari stage

With no engine power Solberg stopped in the middle of the road to effect repairs, triggering a red flag

Oliver Solberg

The opening stage of Sunday morning has been canceled as Oliver Solberg stopped in the test to change an air filter.

Deep sections of fesh-fesh defined the Oserian stage, particularly the first part, that kickstarted Sunday morning. Last year it ran on Friday and was the stage that swallowed Rovanperä.

This year it was similarly demanding as Solberg was brought to a standstill when his Hyundai ingested a load of fesh-fesh.

He and co-driver Elliott Edmondson initially tried to get the car moving again before leaping out of the car and changing the air filter on their i20 N Rally1.

Because Solberg’s car was parked up in the middle of the stage, the stage was red-flagged before eventually being canceled.

Seven cars had completed the stage before it was scrapped, and Adrien Fourmaux set the fastest time by 2.1 seconds over M-Sport team-mate Sébastien Loeb.


Fourmaux admitted he was “surprised I am first on the road because it was already very rutted like a second pass” while Loeb was frustrated the gaps between cars were three minutes, not four like they had been on Friday.

Greensmith, who was second onto the stage, added: That’ll be by far and away the worst stage of the rally in one or two cars. Second pass, I don’t think we can do it because I don’t think half the cars will be able to get through.”

Like Solberg, Ott Tänak also came to a complete standstill within the first mile of the stage as he tried to navigate through the thick plumes of dust.

Asked what caused that stop, the 2019 world champion winked: “Just for fun!

“Stage is quite tricky but OK stage,” he added, losing over a minute to fastest time.

Thierry Neuville simply described the stage as “horrible”.

Words:Luke Barry