Starting 2018 with a podium in Latvia

Not a bad way to start my 2018 season! After a really tight battle in the last few stages with Ken Torn we managed to secure 2nd place and our spot on the second step of the podium.

 
I was competing at Rally Aluksne, where I made my debut back in 2017, and was driving the same model of car as last year, a Peugeot 208 R2, but with assistance from a lot of new partners including Bertel O Steen and Peugeot Norway who helped make this possible. We also got the best possible start as we had help from my father as well as Kenneth Eriksson at our test, who helped us with all his knowledge and experience.
 
This rally was a winter event, but the surface is tricky as there wasn't much snow – I have very little experience in these conditions so my main goal was to finish the rally and get more miles under my belt. However when we came 1st in class in Shakedown it was a good feeling to see the speed was there.
 
The rally started with 2 night stages, again in conditions unfamiliar to me, but it was a great learning experience for me and Veronica. To end the day in 2nd was a good start, although Martin Sesks was already quite a long way in front.

 

On the second day of the rally I was in for a fight. Ken Torn won several stages in a row to close in on my 2nd position, plus we had a couple of problems with the car which lost us some time. With only 1 stage to go we were only 3.6s in front, however a big push on the last stage meant we secured our 2nd place! It was a fantastic feeling to push hard on that final stage, and we even came 5th overall on that stage, beating several 4WD cars. It was a great end to a rally which was very tricky, and where we learnt so much.
 
We are now focused on the second round of the Latvian Rally Championship, Rally Sarma, which isn't too far away! It is another winter rally, but we are expecting a lot more snow which could make things interesting.
 
Thanks everybody for your support, and talk to you all soon.
 
Oliver

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© Oliver Solberg / PS110%