Safari WRC: Chassis damage ends Solberg's event early

Oliver Solberg’s first top flight World Rally Championship outing on gravel has ended prematurely as chassis damage has forced the Hyundai driver out of the event after four stages.

Safari WRC: Chassis damage ends Solberg's event early

The son of 2003 WRC champion Petter was handed a second WRC opportunity having been drafted into Hyundai’s 2C Competition squad at the Kenya event in place of Pierre-Louis Loubet. The drive arrived after an impressive seventh on debut at February’s Arctic Rally Finland.

However, his Safari outing proved to be a brief one for the 19-year-old after sustaining severe damage to his i20 from hitting a bank in stage two, the first of the morning's stages.

The impact registered at 19G and left the car crabbing at the end of the stage, prompting Solberg and co-driver Aaron Johnston to make repairs in-between stages.

After dragging the car through the next two stages, causing more damage to the rear of the car, the pair have been forced to retire from the entire event.

“Today we learnt that it's not just the lions that bite at the Safari Rally it's the stages too,” Solberg posted on social media.

“It was a very, very difficult start to the day on SS2, and we got some damage which we tried to repair on the road section after.

“We tried our best but sadly we couldn't really fix it - we did manage to slowly finish SS3 and SS4 and kept trying to fix it until it was impossible, but the damage to the chassis is too much and unfortunately our Safari Rally experience is over too soon.”

Read Also:

Oliver Solberg, Hyundai Motorsport

Oliver Solberg, Hyundai Motorsport

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Solberg is among a number of drivers to hit trouble on the first loop of traditional stages. Only six of the 11 WRC entries managed to clear the trio of tests on Kenya’s tough gravel roads.

Toyota’s Elfyn Evans crashed out on stage three after hitting a rock barely a kilometre from the finish, while Hyundai’s Dani Sordo spun into a ditch at high speed on the same piece of road. It is hoped the pair will return to action tomorrow under Rally 2 regulations.

WRC privateer Lorenzo Bertelli also suffered a water leak and failed to make the start of the fourth stage.

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville leads the rally by 5.1s from Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera while Ott Tanak is 26.2s adrift in third. A second pass through the morning stages await the crews this afternoon.

shares
comments

Related video

Safari WRC: Neuville leads as Evans and Sordo crash out

Previous article

Safari WRC: Neuville leads as Evans and Sordo crash out

Next article

Safari WRC: Neuville leads Katsuta as drama strikes Rovanpera

Safari WRC: Neuville leads Katsuta as drama strikes Rovanpera
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Prime

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Prime

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up.

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Prime

Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Prime

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Prime

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021