More than 11,000 gamers join Solbergs at HTB Racing Rally Monte Carlo
Solbergs stunned as 11,405 (and counting) join Solberg World Cup in association with DirtFish
Lukáš Matêja takes opening round HTB Racing Rally Monte Carlo
Codemasters delighted with biggest ever gaming community
It was a classic Monte. In the words of a Solberg, it was a proper one. The conditions were that nightmare mix of snow, ice, melting ice and dry asphalt – more often than not – all in one stage.
But they came to have a go at the opening round of the Solberg World Cup in association with DirtFish.
And they came in their masses to enjoy this DiRT Rally 2.0-based event. By the end of the 12-stage HTB Racing Rally Monte Carlo, an unbelievable 11,405 gamers had signed up to challenge Oliver Solberg and his father Petter – the 2003 World Rally Champion competing in a virtual rally for the first time.
Oliver completed the event 15th overall – the same position he climbed to driving his Volkswagen Polo R5 on the real Rally Monte-Carlo in January – and was pleased with his times through the event.
“It was tricky,” he said. “Monte is never easy and this is where this thing is so realistic! The ice and snow coming in places like the Col de Turini really made you focus so hard on the tyre choices and how hard you wanted to push.
“On the game, we have the damage turned really high, so if you clip a rock or something then you are going to get a puncture or some suspension damage. It’s incredible when you are in the middle of the stage, you completely lose yourself in this game. I came to the end and my concentration was so hard, it was amazing.
“But, more than the competition, the number of people who have joined us in this Solberg World Cup in association with DirtFish. Did you see, more than 11,000 – that’s just incredible. It’s crazy! Thank you.”
Petter testified to the realistic damage simulation, getting a puncture early in the HTB Racing Rally Monte Carlo. He recovered to finish a fine 143rd.
“I’m pretty happy with that,” he said. “It was not easy. Like Oliver said, you get so focused in there. I didn’t have so much experience of driving rally cars like this, so that result is good for me. The pace is so, so high. These guys are completely on the limit everywhere, but I know from experience that the mountains can bite you!
“Like Oliver said, we have to say a big thank you to all of the people who have joined us. When we started talking about doing this, we hoped we would get a few hundred people to take part, maybe even a thousand. But now, 11,000 for the championship, that’s fantastic!”
Lukáš Matêja won the HTB Racing Rally Monte Carlo opener, finishing 11.081s ahead of everybody in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.
The Solberg World Cup in association with DirtFish moves on to Circle K Norge Rally Värmland for round two, where the winter conditions continue on some of the finest, fastest flowing Swedish roads around.
Circle K Norge Rally Värmland is open for competition between the 11,405 gamers from today (Monday April 20).
Codemasters, the firm behind DiRT Rally 2.0, is delighted with the numbers joining the Solberg family’s gaming community in the game.
Codemasters Game Director Ross Gowing said: “We have been overwhelmed with the response from players who wish to compete in the Solberg World Cup while the sporting calendar takes a backseat. We have a proud history working with Oliver and Petter, and for them to create and deliver our most competitive and active DiRT Rally 2.0 competition is testament to the respect they hold within the world of rally."
Follow the latest Solberg World Cup in association with DirtFish updates on Oliver’s social media channels: @oliversolberg01.