Solbergs set for father-versus-son ERC glory on Royal Rally of Scandinavia

Solbergs set for father-versus-son ERC glory on Royal Rally of Scandinavia

Petter Solberg returns to action to take on son Oliver in their 'backyard'
 
Two members of one of rallying’s most famous dynasties will face off for FIA European Rally Championship glory in Sweden this week (13 - 15 June) when they join a star-studded field for the ultimate father-versus-son battle.

 

Petter Solberg, the winner of the FIA World Rally Championship in 2003 and two-time FIA World Rallycross champion, is taking on his hugely talented son Oliver over BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia’s fast-paced gravel stages located a short distance from the family home.

 

Solberg Jr, 22, won the first running of BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia in 2023 and is a frontrunner in the WRC2 category behind the wheel of a Pirelli-equipped Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. His father Petter, 49, hasn’t rallied at international level since 2019 but the Norwegian remains one of the sport’s greatest performers.

 

“This will be something really fun for us,” said Solberg Sr, who will be at the wheel of the same Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 his son used to win in Karlstad last July.

 

“It’s so nice for the fans and for our families to come and watch this one.

"The car hasn’t changed at all since Oliver used it to win last year. It’s just been sitting there for the last 12 months.”

 

With three ERC victories and the Rally2-based Junior ERC title from 2020 to his name, Oliver Solberg is a favourite to challenge for the outright win – and the family bragging rights.

 

“I can’t wait,” the Swede said. “We’re talking a lot about this battle, who is going to win between my father and me and all of that is very nice – but the main thing is that I’m just super-happy to be out there racing against him again. There’s something very special to be at a stage start and for us to be pulling on our crash helmets and driving gloves.”

 

The Safedrive-backed Solbergs are among 23 drivers competing in a top-of-the-range Rally2 car on BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia. Defending ERC champion Hayden Paddon tops the entry aboard his Pirelli-shod Hyundai i20 N Rally2 followed by 2022 title winner Efrén Llarena, who pilots a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 for Team MRF Tyres.

 

Michelin’s current championship leader, Mathieu Franceschi, Hungary winner Simone Tempestini, double Polish champion Miko Marczyk, Latvia’s Mārtiṇš Sesks, Finn Mikko Heikkilä and Norwegians Eyvind Brynildsen, Frank Tore Larsen and Mads Østberg will also be among the contenders for victory. Johan Kristoffersson, a multiple World Rallycross title winner, will also be in action.

 

Strong competition in support categories as Max McRae aims to fly high

In addition to the five drivers chasing success in FIA ERC3 and the ERC M-Sport Fiesta Rally3 Trophy, 14 young talents will go for gold in the Hankook-equipped FIA Junior ERC Championship. While Mille Johansson (Opel Corsa Rally4) starts his home round of the series on top of the provisional standings, Max McRae (Peugeot 208 Rally4), the nephew of the late Colin McRae, is just two points behind. He’s relishing the prospect of tackling the Colin’s Crest jump – named after his uncle - on the double-use Colins stage on Friday.

 

“He absolutely sent it over this jump in the snow when the stage ran as part of the Swedish Rally,” the 19-year-old McRae said. “It’s mega to have something like that on the event and fairly emotional to be driving through that section – I’ll definitely be sending it there as well.”

 

Super special stage with a difference opens second Royal Rally

 

Before they tackle the high-speed gravel roads of Sweden’s Värmland region, the ERC stars and their cars will be put through their paces on a super special stage with a difference.

 

From 20:05 CET on Thursday, the BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia contenders will be in action on a 2.15-kilometre sealed-surface stage located in front of the Välsviken branch of the BAUHAUS home and garden improvement store chain a short distance from central Karlstad.

 

Friday’s route consists of four repeated stages either side of service in Karlstad with the 6.43-kilometre Colins test – complete with the Colin’s Crest Arena – one of many highlights.

 

Saturday’s route features a further two loops of four stages split by a service halt in Karlstad. The event concludes with the second of two passes through the new Mölnbacka Power Stage from 16:05. Details of ticket sales and the fan focused festival format are available here: https://ercroyalrally.com/en/

How to watch?

Fans across the globe can experience the excitement and drama of the ERC with every stage of every rally broadcast Rally.tv platform. In addition, the ERC is broadcast in a number of countries around the world and fans are advised to check local listings for details.

BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia 2024: the key numbers

Stages: 17

Competitive distance: 191.05 kilometres

Total distance: 898.13 kilometres
 


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