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Images of Oliver Solberg competing at the Idaho Rally International


Jun 252019

There’s no doubting the fact that 17-year old Oliver Solberg is the hottest property in rallying right now. In his first full season of stage rally competition, he has won four of the five events contested, and what’s more he finished second in the other.

Last weekend, Oliver pitted his talents against the historic Idaho International Rally - as part of his assault on the 2019 American Rally Association Championship.

Despite suffering a slew of technical issues on the event’s opening day - Saturday - which culminated in him and co-driver Denis Giraudet being forced into retirement on SS5 - Oliver came back with remarkable pace and determination on day two.

Sunday’s running, saw the Norwegian teenager win five from six stages in the Subaru Motorsports USA WRX STI, and finish ninth overall. “I have lived my life in rallying, so I know this sport’s not going to run smoothly all the time,” explained Oliver. “We had some small throttle and fuel-related problems which meant we couldn’t get any power from the car. It doesn’t matter how much testing you do, when you put the numbers on the doors these things can happen. Rallying is a mechanical sport and it’s part of the game.

“What was good was the chance to get some more time in the car on different kind of roads. In Idaho, the roads really weren’t so fast as we’d seen before in Olympus and 100 Acre Wood. My co-driver Denis told me these stages were quite like the ones used in Cyprus and Greece. I like the chance to drive on different styles of road and I like to drive in this Subaru.


“Honestly, when everything is working like it should, the feeling is just wonderful – I love to be able to really push and enjoy the car and the stages. It’s fantastic. OK, we didn’t make the big result like last time, but we have more experience now and we look forward to the next one.


“I want to say a very big thank you to Subaru Motorsports USA and Vermont [SportsCar] for getting us up and running again. And I also want to thank all of the organisers and marshals on this event – as ever, they did a fantastic job and we should remember that, without them, our sport wouldn’t exist!”


Next up Oliver returns to Europe and his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 for his next outing at Rally Estonia (July 12-14).