Rally di Alba debut win for Oliver Solberg
Updated: Jun 21, 2021
Sunday was a pretty good day for Oliver Solberg. Not only did he win his first ever asphalt rally in a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, but he realised his dream of competing on Safari Rally Kenya. The 19-year-old topped the podium at Rally di Alba — #RAplus and was also announced in a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC for the Naivasha-based sixth round of the World Rally Championship next week. Like we said, Sunday June 13 was a good day. Not that Oliver’s getting carried away with his Italian job — he knows very well that his Hyundai Motorsport team-mate, 2019 World Rally Champion Ott Tänak was the pace-setter and the winner on the stages. Tänak incurred a 2m30s penalty for arriving late into SS7. Oliver was back in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC for the first time since a sensational seventh place on his World Rally Car debut at February’s Arctic Rally Finland. This weekend’s Italian event marked another first for the 19-year-old as Oliver drove a top-specification car competitively on asphalt for the first time in his career. He didn’t disappoint. Oliver said:
“I had a lot of fun today. The car is just incredible on the Tarmac. I only drove on the snow in Arctic before, so to come here and just get in the car and go at shakedown yesterday (Saturday) was quite something. “I know I have a lot to learn from the car still, but coming here to Alba was such a cool way for me to drive on Tarmac for the first time. The roads are amazing, so much fun to drive — especially in a car like this one. Everything worked really well. “The main thing was for me to take the experience and learn the car. If there was one thing I would have liked, it would have been to win a stage. I was close sometimes, but it’s tough when you are competing with a guy like Ott — he’s a world champion! “It’s been a lot of fun working with the team and with Ott here. I have seen lots of times on DirtFish that people call this rally the Adamo Grand Prix and I can understand why now — our Team Principal Andrea Adamo (Hyundai Motorsport) is a big star here on his home rally. He is talking all the time with so many people and taking so many pictures. It was great to see him having a lot of fun. And so many cars! I think there were nearly 200 rally cars competing here. We have to say a very big congratulations to the organisers for making this work!
“I know we will register this as a win, but I don’t take this so seriously. We could see all the time Ott’s speed was pretty incredible, so I think there is still some work for me to do!”