Oliver Solberg and Ole Christian Veiby named for 2021
As part of our commitment to nurturing motorsport talent of the future, we have announced that Oliver Solberg and Ole Christian Veiby will spearhead our manufacturer entry into next year’s WRC 2 championship. The two drivers will compete initially in our rally-winning i20 R5 before moving into the brand-new i20 N Rally2 car when it becomes available for competition mid-season.
Our Team Principal, Andrea, said: “On the back of our second consecutive manufacturers’ title in the WRC, it is important for us to reaffirm our commitment to young talent and rising stars. We are pleased to welcome Oliver into the Hyundai Motorsport family, to join Ole Christian, with whom we have already worked this year. Both are exciting talents and definitely ‘ones-to-watch’.”
Oliver is the youngest, upcoming star from the well-known Solberg family, at the age of 19. Having been in and around WRC his entire life, Oliver started out in crosskarts, but by 15 he was learning his rally craft in Latvia as well as in rallycross. He stepped up to R5 machinery in 2019, taking the Latvian/Estonian/Baltic title. He made his WRC debut in Wales Rally GB that same year and took his first WRC 3 win at this season’s Rally Estonia. In addition, he claimed the FIA ERC1 junior title.
“For me to be joining Hyundai Motorsport is incredible,” said Oliver, who has signed a two-year agreement with our team. “It’s an exciting time to join a team like this. I am looking forward to driving the i20 R5 and then the i20 N Rally2 car as part of a full WRC 2 campaign next year. We will go into the championship with a winning mentality and with the important responsibility of representing Hyundai around the world. I am also happy to have another young driver, Ole Christian Veiby, in the WRC 2 set-up. I hope this commitment will open the doors to even greater opportunities for me in the future.”
Ole Christian is already well acquainted with our i20 R5, having contested five out of the seven WRC 2 rounds held in 2020. He took his first WRC 2 podium with second place in Sweden, with stages in his home country of Norway, where he made his series debut back in 2016. He added further class podiums in Mexico (third) and Sardinia (second), to finish fourth in the drivers’ standings.
“I have really enjoyed competing with the i20 R5 this year,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot and I’m pleased to continue the work we have started. It has been a very different and challenging year, and I’m looking forward to having another year to fight properly in WRC 2. It’s great to have Oliver onboard. I’m sure he will make a valuable contribution to the team and it will be very inspiring for me to work with such a passionate driver.”
Andrea added: “We are confident that both young talents will demonstrate the potential not only of our R5 car initially, but also our brand-new i20 N Rally2 car which we expect will make its competitive debut mid-season. Our Customer Racing department has worked fiercely during this challenging year to produce competitive rally machinery for crews around the world, so we are excited to see what our customer cars can do on the world rally stages in 2021 with these ambitious drivers.”
We have demonstrated our commitment to identifying and supporting up-and-coming talent for a number of years, having added Finnish driver Jari Huttunen to our books three years ago. “We can’t talk about rising stars without mentioning Jari,” said Andrea. “He has had a fantastic season in 2020 including the Polish title and the WRC 3 championship. We are working on Jari’s programme for 2021 and more will be known on that in due course.”