Oliver ends incredible American season with a win
This weekend’s Lake Superior Performance Rally marks the end of Oliver’s rookie season in the American Rally Association series. For once, let’s save the words and go with the numbers.
0 – is how many rallies Oliver had started in a four-wheel drive car before the start of this season
3 – that’s how many rallies Oliver has won in this year’s American Rally Association series.
3 (again) – is where Oliver finished in the ARA standings (despite only starting six rallies)
6 – is the number of ARA starts Oliver made in 2019. (Did we mention, he won three of them?)
6.8 – seconds was the gap between Oliver and the winner of Oliver’s first ever ARA rally. For the record, Oliver lost a minute with a puncture and stopped to put the bonnet down in one stage…
9 – that’s how many minutes (almost) Oliver won this weekend’s ARA finale in Michigan by
10 – stages won on the 13-stage New England Forest Rally. Oliver was second quickest on SS1 and suffered punctures on the two stages he didn’t win.
17 – that’s how old Oliver was when he made his Subaru Motorsports USA debut at Rally in 100 Acre Wood.
48 – fastest times from 75 stages
64 – is the percentage of stages wins from Oliver’s rookie ARA season
80 – per cent of stages won on the Susquehannock Trial Performance Rally. Oliver won more than 75 per cent of stages on three of the six ARA rounds he started.
100 – there had to be a 100, didn’t there… that’s the percentage of rallies Oliver finished in ARA this year.
Oliver said: “Like always, it’s fantastic to come to this team and drive Subaru Motorsports USA’s WRX STI. I love this car; it’s got really nice power and it’s so much fun on these roads.
“This rally was a cool one for me. The stages were fast, but also tricky in some places. I’m so happy to end the season with a win like this. It’s tough for my team-mate [David] Higgins, he was setting some good times early on. For me, I was really happy with the car and everything went to my plan.
“Looking back on the whole season, it went so fast! It feels like it was just yesterday that I was pulling on these famous blue and yellow overalls for the first time in March. When I started, I didn’t know what would be possible. Could we make the podium? I didn’t know. But when we came so close to the win on the first round, I knew I just wanted to push and push until we did it.
“We didn’t have to wait so long, winning the [DirtFish] Olympus [Rally] was a really nice one – this is the famous rally in America. After that, I was trying to win all the time. It wasn’t so easy, the roads are so different on every event and I had no experience of any of them.
“I think it wasn’t such a bad year, when I came to every rally not knowing where I was going!
“The two guys who helped me in the right direction were my co-drivers Denis [Giraudet] and Aaron [Johnston], they have been amazing.
“I also have to say a very big thank you to the whole team at Vermont SportsCar and everybody in Subaru Motorsports USA. Those guys gave me the chance to make a dream come true – they gave me the chance to drive a car like my dad’s. Driving for Subaru is so emotional for all my family. This was an unbelievable year.
“To come here, to drive a Subaru, it’s been like a dream for me…”
ARA 2019 Championship standings
1st David Higgins 114 points
2nd Barry McKenna 101 points
3rd Oliver Solberg 97 points*
4th Piotr Fetela 86 points
5th Cameron Steely 71 points
*started only 6 out of 9 events