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Oliver Solberg: Rally Liepāja almost feels like home rally
22.05.2019

LIEPĀJA, May 22, 2019

Even though you can only get a driver’s licence at 18 years of age, the Latvian Rally Championship gives younger drivers the chance to prove themselves. One of these drivers is Oliver Solberg. At the age of 17, the Sports Racing Technologies team driver has won Rally Sarma and Rally Alūksne, putting him in the lead of the Latvian Rally Championship overall classification. He is looking to showcase his talent and fight for the top spots this weekend in Liepāja as well.

Oliver Solberg, Rally Liepaja 2018 ©FIAERC.com

This year, Oliver has moved away from the front-wheel drive LRČ3 class, moving on to a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5. “The main difference is in the acceleration. I did not have to alter my driving style all that much, as it was always very close to what you would need in an all-wheel drive car,” says Oliver Solberg, who, like his father Petter Solberg, has also tried rallycross, becoming the 2018 RallyX Nordic champion.

Oliver Solberg ©Edgars Leonovs

“Winning the first two rallies was special and a bit surprising, but this will be my first start on gravel in this car. This being a European Championship event makes for an additional challenge, but I am here to learn and gain experience,” Oliver Solberg will have the tenth start number, and will be competing not only in round three and round four of the Latvian Rally Championship, but also in the European Championship and ERC Junior classifications.

Oliver Solberg, Rally Liepaja 2018 ©FIAERC.com

Shortage of advice is one thing that Oliver definitely does not have to worry about. His father Petter is the 2003 world rally champion, and his whole family is actively involved in rallying. In the last year, Oliver has also begun a close collaboration with one of his father’s former competitors, rally legend Sebastien Loeb. “He has helped me tremendously on asphalt and on thinking long-term, which is what you need to win championships. That will be especially useful in Liepāja.”

Oliver Solberg, Rally Liepaja 2018 ©FIAERC.com

Even though Solberg is from Norway, he competes with a rally licence issued by the Latvian Automobile Federation. In 2017 and 2018, Oliver was runner-up in the LRČ3 class, behind Mārtiņš Sesks. There is no doubt that Latvia will always have a special place in Solberg’s heart. “Of course, coming to Latvia is special. This is almost like a home event for me,” says Solberg. “This is a great event and I am happy that in 2017 I could prove myself here and beat some of the best drivers.”

“Rally Liepāja is a part of the Latvian Championship and that is the main thing that I have to focus on for the remainder of the season. I will not be competing in any other European Championship rounds this year,” admits Solberg.