be_ixf;ym_202302 d_04; ct_100
Friday shots from Gymkhana Grid.

The next generation: Petter vs Oliver in the WRC

Jul 242019

Where one door shuts, another one opens; and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to Petter and Oliver Solberg at the upcoming 2019 Wales Rally GB.

Flashback to 2002 first though. Oliver Solberg was one year old when his father started an extraordinary period of dominance of the Wales Rally GB - winning his first ever WRC event on the iconic gravel stages. This year Oliver be 18, and he will make his WRC debut alongside his father - in the same service tent - and using an identical Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

At the same time, Petter - who has three FIA World titles to his name - will end his 19 year professional career. It will be a landmark event - officially signalling the arrival of the next generation of the Solberg family at rallying’s highest stage.

Petter said: “Wales Rally GB has always been a special one for me and the chance to bring my professional World Rally Championship career to a close there is fantastic. There are so many memories from this rally, it’s an event which has really been one of the highlights of my career – winning my first ever WRC round in 2002, then winning the championship a year later was so special. And so special for my co-driver Phil [Mills], who lives there.

“It is going to be an emotional rally, especially competing on a WRC round for the first time with my son Oliver. It’s an incredible moment for the Solberg family as one chapter closes and another one opens.”

The duo will go wheel to wheel at Gymkhana GRiD’s tenth season ending finale - scheduled for September 7 in Warsaw, Poland.


Petter continued: “Rally GB is part of my Farewell Tour which is something that’s so important to me. I didn’t want to just make a press release talking about what I’d done in the sport and what a good time I’d had. I always wanted to get out there and do what I’ve always loved to do, what my life has been about: driving competitively.


“All of my career, the fans and spectators have been really close with me and I want this chance to see them all again and give them something to smile about. I started with the Festival of Speed at Goodwood which was a fantastic event – I’m sure Wales is going to be the same as well.


“But as well as thanking the fans and the media, I have to say a big thank you to Volkswagen Motorsport for their support with my Farewell Tour and to my long-term partner Monster Energy.


For me and for once, the competition isn’t absolutely everything. Like I say, I want to enjoy this rally and driving Volkswagen’s Polo GTI R5 and I really can’t wait to share a round of the world championship with Oliver. I hope I can share this moment with you as well.”