Home game arouses Solberg’s emotions

The Hyundai Motorsport driver lives near Torsby, the former home of Rally Sweden, and close to the Norwegian border. He has a Swedish mother, former PWRC challenger Pernilla, and a Norwegian father, three-time FIA ​​World Champion Petter.

He will compete for the second round of the 2022 campaign at Rally Sweden (February 24-27) in a hybrid i20 N. His only Swedish start was two years ago when he finished fifth in WRC3.

“Of course I’m Swedish and Norwegian,” said Solberg. “But this is my home race in the championship and going there and racing this week is going to be very emotional.

“I’ve talked a lot about dreaming of those moments – like when I first competed in WRC Rally GB with Dad [2019] and then drive [Arctic Rally] Finland last year in a World Rally Car.

Solberg made his top debut at Arctic Rally Finland for 12 months


“But that’s it. As you can imagine, this is the one I’ve been dreaming of all my life. Driving to my home rally as a works driver is something very special.

“Sure it might have been even better if the event was still held in Torsby – close to my home and where my family team is from – but the most important thing is to make sure Sweden is safe and has good conditions. I think we definitely have that this week.”

This year’s event has been moved 700 km north to the Västerbotten region, with Umeå as the host city. Conditions are said to be perfect for a winter rally, with temperatures approaching -20C this week and lots of snow and ice covering the stages.

Solberg was the talk of last year’s Winterfest at Arctic Rally Finland, his debut in a top-of-the-line World Rally Car. After a late spin in a Hyundai i20, he missed sixth overall by just 1.2 seconds on Takamoto Katsuta.


Video: The Rally Sweden challenge


The 20-year-old can’t wait to get back to the WRC winter race.

“Snow and ice are my favorite surfaces too, so it’s going to be a very special rally,” he said. “You have to be pretty aggressive with your driving style, keep the front of the car in line but push the rear.

“It will be new for everyone so the preparations are more equal and that gives me a good opportunity to have a strong weekend. Rally Sweden will be a mix of everything: fast and twisty roads, wintry conditions and lots of snow banks.”

Solberg is hoping to bounce back from a disappointing start to the season at the Monte Carlo Rally when he retired on medical grounds after fumes entered the cockpit.

• Full coverage from Rally Sweden will be available on WRC+ All Live hereincluding every stage broadcast live as well as key interviews, reports and expert analyzes from the service park.


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