Oscar Solberg joins ERC Junior with Fiesta Rally3

Oscar Solberg joins ERC Junior with Fiesta Rally3

23.06.2021: Norwegian rally driver Oscar Solberg is set to make his European Rally Championship and Rally3 category debut on Rally Liepāja in the entry-level four-wheel drive Fiesta Rally3 car.

Norwegian rally driver Oscar Solberg is set to make his European Rally Championship and Rally3 category debut on Rally Liepāja in the entry-level four-wheel drive Fiesta Rally3 car.
 


Son to six-time WRC podium finisher Henning Solberg, Oscar is part of one of the most recognised and followed families in rallying. His cousin Oliver Solberg won the 2020 ERC1 Junior title and with it a prize package for use in the ERC in 2021. Thanks to developing opportunities in the World Rally Championship, Oliver has stunned the rallying world with a thoughtful and kind gesture by transferring his ERC1 Junior prize package to Oscar.
 


Rallying is certainly a way of life for Oscar Solberg, he has eight previous WRC event starts, all in a Fiesta R2 (now called Rally4) including an appearance in the FIA Junior WRC Championship on Rally Sweden in 2020. He finished third in the 2017 British Junior Rally Championship, picking up one victory and nine stage wins along the way.
 


He will be taking to the Latvian stages in the M-Sport Poland Fiesta Rally3, M-Sport Poland’s all-new challenger designed and developed to provide a cost effective and competitive four-wheel drive rally car. The Fiesta Rally3 made its ERC debut a matter of days ago on the season-opening Rally Poland where Jon Armstrong made history by taking the inaugural ERC Junior rally win.



Armstrong and 2020 ERC3 and ERC3 Junior champion Ken Torn took to the Polish stages with fierce pace, challenging for top-20 stage times and fighting against Rally2 machinery to underline what the Fiesta Rally3 is capable of. What was significant on Rally Poland was the way Torn and Armstrong were both consistently out-performing Rally2-Kit cars by as much as 1.7 seconds per kilometre, a huge margin in rallying.
 


Solberg will be using the same machinery on the Latvian stages in less than two week’s time with a pre-event test to get acclimatised with the EcoBoost-powered Fiesta Rally3. His programme will serve as the perfect development year for him to sample four-wheel drive rallying at an international level across the European continent on a variety of surfaces and stages.




M-Sport Poland Managing Director, Maciej Woda, said:


“I am really looking forward to working with Oscar this year, I remember working with his father Henning and have very fond memories so it’s quite special to welcome Oscar to M-Sport Poland for his ERC Junior campaign.



This is an amazing story for rallying and I have to say hats off to Oliver for such a kind and generous thought. It’s going to be an intense few weeks for Oscar with Rally Liepāja, a fast gravel event right around the corner and then the intense Tarmac of Rally di Roma Capitale three weeks later.



Jon Armstrong proved in Poland the Fiesta Rally3 is a driver friendly car that doesn’t require specialist experience to get on top of which should help Oscar settle into a good rhythm throughout the year. I would also like to say a special thank you to ERC, Pirelli and Eurosport Events for working with Oliver to allow Oscar to embark upon this new chapter of his rallying career.”




Oscar Solberg, 2021 ERC Junior driver in a Fiesta Rally3:


“I’m a little bit shocked actually. I was just focusing on the Norwegian championship in an old Volvo when I got the news and I don’t think it will register until I am putting on my helmet before the first stage on Rally Liepāja next week. This is very big for me and without this from Oliver I would not be here, so I am very grateful. Everything is coming so fast. I just need to find my rhythm and go with it.



Hopefully I can show something good and something good will come out of this. Rally3 is a new class, it looks exciting, and although I have not driven the car yet, I was driving Group N cars when I was starting in 2016 so I have some four-wheel-drive experience and I know the Fiesta.



Me and Oliver love rallying a lot, he has been driving a little bit more than me but when we were kids and he knows me in the video games, when we are driving quad bikes, and I think he thinks I’m quite good. When we are driving video games we are exactly the same on every split. I don’t think I’m the fastest, but we’ll see after the first few stages in Latvia what I can do.”
 



Oliver Solberg, 2020 ERC1 Junior Champion:

“Last year I was very lucky to be able to win the European championship in the Junior class. By winning that you win €100,000 for the European championship, unfortunately I don’t have the time to do the European championship this year. I have decided to change it to another ‘O. Solberg’ so I am giving that money to my cousin so he can do the European championship this year in a Rally3 car, the new car from M-Sport which is four-wheel drive.



I think it is a fantastic thing to do and my cousin is really fast so watch out! I think he is very happy, and it is a fantastic opportunity for him, and I wish him all the best!”





Sebastian Scott- photos M-Sport

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/oscar-solberg-joins-erc-junior-fiesta-rally3---225362.html

23.06.2021 / MaP

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