Why Solberg won’t score WRC2 points in Kenya

The 21-year-old doesn't want to win the title without doing it against a stacked field


If Oliver Solberg lands this year’s WRC2 title, there’s no doubt he will have earned it. And earned it the hard way.

The 21-year-old starts this week’s Safari Rally Kenya no doubt thinking that had he registered for WRC2 points, he would likely have taken a big score and a step towards an end-of-season title.

Solberg’s pointless Rally Italy Sardinia hurt his campaign, but with a first, second and third in the bag and three more scoring opportunities available, he remains very much in the fight.

What’s interesting is Solberg’s attitude. This year is about two things: maintaining experience and relevance.

Right now, nobody comes close to the Monster Energy-backed driver in terms of stages won or stages led in a Rally2 car. That’s the relevance side of things covered.

Experience is what this week’s all about. The Kenyan roads can change significantly from year-to-year, depending on the ferocity of the rainy season. Solberg knows how important the Safari is to a manufacturer and he wants to keep his knowledge base as high as possible.

So he’s happy to take a step back in terms of car specification – driving a Rally2 evo Škoda Fabia instead of the latest RS Rally2 version – just to be there and compete on one of the world’s most famous rallies.

Solberg’s car belongs to family friend and fellow competitor Daniel Chwist.

“Without him, I wouldn’t be able to compete,” said a typically forthright Solberg.


“We’re using the Škoda Fabia evo Daniel used in México and it will be run by Eurosol. We will push, make some strong times and have some fun.

“And, of course, it’s good to be here to take more experience.”

But for WRC2 points, Solberg’s all about the scrap. He’s been clear from stage one of rally one, he wants to compete on the same events as the majority of his rivals.

If he’s the one wearing that crown at the end of the season, he wants to know he’s earned the right to have it on his head. That’s admirable.

Words:David Evans