Oliver Solberg Gets WRC Hyundai Drive

Oliver Solberg in racing driver suit

Hyundai Motorsport has announced that Oliver Solberg will drive a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC at the forthcoming second round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Arctic Rally Finland (February 26-28).

Solberg, who was previously announced as one of the team’s WRC 2 drivers for 2021, will step up to WRC for the first time at the new championship event as part of an ongoing learning curve for the 19-year-old.

Alongside his co-driver Aaron Johnston, Solberg will compete on the snowy Finnish roads in a car maintained by 2C Compétition. The crew had a taste of the Arctic conditions last month as they contested the Finnish Rally Championship round in a Hyundai i20 R5, finishing third overall.
Oliver Solberg in his Hyundai R5 Rally racing car

While participation in the Arctic Lapland Rally will give the crew a sense of familiarity, it will be their first time competing in the WRC category. As such, the target will be one of gathering experience and getting themselves acquainted with the high-speed nature of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on Pirelli tyres.

The pair will be able to benchmark their performance level against Hyundai Motorsport’s established crews Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja, Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe and Craig Breen/Paul Nagle. However, the primary objective will be on getting mileage under their belt ahead of a WRC 2 debut later in the season.

Oliver Solberg said: “The first thing is for me to say a very big thank you to Hyundai Motorsport for giving me this opportunity to gain experience and for putting their trust in me to drive this rally in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. I’m counting down the minutes until I get to sit in this fantastic car for the first time. 

This really is a dream to be making my debut in a World Rally Car with the reigning manufacturers’ champions! I have driven quite a lot on the snow, and I know this type of condition quite well, but the car is completely new for me. The only target for me in Lapland is to learn and take the experience. I want to come out of every stage understanding the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC more than when I started it.”
Hyundai !20 World Rally Car

Team Principal Andrea Adamo said: “We are very happy that Oliver has the opportunity to drive the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC in Arctic Rally Finland. We are keen to see his performance level, of course, but there is no pressure on his shoulders in his debut WRC event. 

He has to enjoy the rally and take all the experience possible. It will be his first time at the top level of world rallying but it is more of a test than anything else; he has to acclimatise and get acquainted with the high-speed nature of the car in these wintry conditions. We hope to see him at the arrival, the end of the Power Stage, with lots of enjoyment and happiness - that’s the main target.”