The son of three-time FIA World champion Petter Solberg - Oliver Solberg - has claimed his maiden Supercar Rallycross championship at the final round of the RallyX Nordic series this weekend.
Taking victory at RallyX Nordic’s final event; in Tierp, Sweden, combined with previous wins at Arvika (round two) and Kouvola (round five), secured Oliver his first championship title with a lead of 11 points over nearest rival Oliver Eriksson.
“I am so happy with this result,” said Oliver, who celebrated his 17th birthday just over two weeks ago. “It’s been a great weekend of racing and actually a really good year. To drive this car is so much fun, going off the line with nearly 600 horsepower is fantastic! I have to say a very big thank you to Circle K for their support for the RallyX Nordic programme this year and, of course, to my family’s PSRX team – the car has been so, so good all year. These guys who are working on the car are just the best in the world!”
So what’s up next for the future generation of the Solberg racing dynasty?
“Next year I will do some more rallycross – it’s hard not to want to drive these cars! But as well I want to focus some more on rallying. I will do a lot of testing. Rallying is the future for me, that’s where I want to go. But for now I want to celebrate this win. Taking my first [RallyX Nordic] victory last year was special, then we had a really good start to the year with the win in Arvika – but nothing is like this feeling of being the champion. Last year I was the driver who came here [to the final round] chasing the championship. It was different this time, I was being hunted… I have to be honest, I think there is less pressure when you are hunting – then you just push and push; you can take the risks.
“This weekend, I have been thinking a little bit about the championship all of the time. It’s always there in your head. OK, once the lights go green you are thinking only of the next corner and how to get through it faster than your rivals, but definitely I have been a bit more on edge this weekend.”
Of course, despite having nerves of steel in this year’s World RX championship, Oliver’s father Petter was hugely proud to see his son crowned champion. “We know about Oliver’s speed,” said Petter, “I have seen this when I have been testing with him – and trying to beat him! What has really impressed me again here is his attitude and his approach to the weekend.
“He has worked really hard at school in Le Mans, working in areas like the need for mental strength and a psychological and physiological approach as well as physical fitness – and this weekend we can see why that’s so important. Sometimes I was thinking I was more nervous than him! Pernilla and me are so proud of our boy; it’s fantastic to have a Solberg champion. Now we’re looking forward to next year, which is definitely going to be exciting and busy!”