Solberg’s rallycross family affair in Hell

by Hal Ridge |

Not only is the third round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship this weekend Henning Solberg’s home event, but Hell is also somewhat of a family affair. Solberg’s son Oscar will make his debut in the Super1600 category and step-son Pontus Tidemand makes his first appearance with the new EKS squad as team mate to DTM star Mattias Ekstrom. Of course, Solberg’s younger brother is in action too, but Petter Solberg needs no introduction on these pages. It will be the first time that all four have raced at the same event.

“This is the first time we have all done an event together, which is really good. It’s always great to watch the boys race. You never know in rallycross how things will go, but i’m sure they will both be quick,” says Solberg, who will watch son Oscar race the Citroen C2 raced by Eric Faren in RallycrossRX last season. Faren’s team, together with father Ronny Larsson, will run the C2 this weekend. “Oscar has won in Crosskart and he has a lot of potential I think. The Crosskart is much faster than the Super1600 car, so there will be no problem for him with the speed or anything like that.”

Oscar Solberg raced in one RallycrossRX event last season, the final round of the JRX series in Germany. That number of 2013 events is shared by Tidemand, who raced for Kristoffersson Motorsport at Holjes, Sweden. Norway this weekend will be the first event for the Swede in the new EKS built Audi S1 Supercar. “Pontus is always fast in everything he drives,” says Solberg. “I don’t know how he will get on this weekend yet, he hasn’t told me much about how their preparation has been going.” Tidemand will couple his World RX events this year with a program in the WRC2 category of the World Rally Championship, his prize for winning the JWRC last season. Joining Tidemand on several events this season is Solberg, who is also contesting a combined program of World Rallycross and World Rally Championship events.

Last weekend, Solberg finished the sixth round of the WRC in Italy in seventh position in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta. “Italy was very good. We had a little problem which lost us some time but otherwise I was very happy. Hopefully this weekend in Hell will be good too. I had three punctures at this event last season, the track was quite rough, hopefully it will be better this weekend. I’m driving in a more circuit racing style now, being more neat and smooth.”

Solberg has had an impressive run of results in his select rallycross outings over the last twelve months. In Holjes, Sweden last July he made the final, and at this biggest rallycross event ever at Loheac, France he was on for a similar result until hit by an engine problem in the semi finals. The Norwegian made it to the semi final stages at the second round of World RX at Lydden Hill last month, and feels he would have made the final had it not been for a suspension problem. “I would have been in the final in England, but a suspension part broke in the semi final. I was definitely on to make it into the final. The whole team is very good and I really like to work with them. Per [Eklund] is very good, he is the best!”




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