Solberg to drive ŠKODA Motorsport-supported FABIA Rally2 evo in WRC
Eighteen-year-old rally star Oliver Solberg will drive a ŠKODA Motorsport-supported ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo (former known as ŠKODA FABIA R5 evo before the R5 category was renamed into Rally2 by the International Automobile Federation FIA) on selected rounds of this year's WRC3 series, starting at next month's Rally Sweden.
Oliver, who became the youngest ever winner of an FIA European Rally Championship round last season, tested the Fabia for the first time earlier this month. The ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo will be run in cooperation with ŠKODA Motorsport.
Oliver said: "ŠKODA has such an amazing history in the sport of rallying. Look back all the time and you see them there. From before I was born ŠKODA has been building World Rally Cars and more recently the Fabia R5 has been right at the front and winning in the WRC and all around the world for so many years.
"It's a fantastic honour and a really huge honour for me to drive with the support of ŠKODA. I went to the ŠKODA Motorsport headquarters in Mladá Boleslav already and, wow, what a cool place that is. It was so impressive."
Oliver was equally impressed with the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo when he got behind the wheel.
"It's not so difficult to see how this car is so successful," he said. "I heard they sold already 330 FABIA rally cars around the world and I can say I agree with the decision those customers made! It's a great car with really nice balance, grip and power."
Before his Rally Sweden debut aboard a ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, Oliver drove his Monster Energy-backed Volkswagen Polo Rally2 at the season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo (January 23-26).
"We still drive the Polo on some rounds," said Oliver, who made his WRC debut at October's Wales Rally GB.
"The main thing for me now is to try to make experience on as many WRC rounds as possible this year. Everybody talks about how much experience you need and how important it is – I saw that for myself in Wales last year and Monte Carlo last weekend. These WRC rounds are tougher and longer than anything me and Aaron [Johnston, co-driver] have done before. But I've got to tell you, this year is like a dream for me. Driving in the world championship is all I ever wanted to do. OK being world champion is also something I'm still dreaming to, and with ŠKODA Motorsport's support I'm really on the right road."
Oliver's co-driver Aaron Johnston is equally keen to get aboard the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo.
"This is such a fantastic opportunity for us. To be supported by ŠKODA Motorsport, who have brought along many young talents over the years, is very special and I'm so proud to be part of this experience."
Further details of Oliver and Aaron's full program aboard the ŠKODA Motorsport-supported ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo will be available soon.