Oscar Solberg, son of World Rally Championship podium-finisher Henning and nephew of Petter, won in the Junior BRC on debut at the Border Counties Rally
Oscar Solberg has claimed victory on Pirelli tyres on his British Rally Championship debut. Driving a Ford Fiesta R2T, the 20-year-old Norwegian won the Junior BRC category on the opening round of the 2017 season, the Border Counties Rally in southern Scotland.
Solberg is the son of World Rally Championship podium-finisher Henning and nephew of Petter, who used Pirelli tyres to become world champion in 2003 with Subaru. He is just the latest second-generation rally star to show his potential with Pirelli recently: Kalle Rovanpera, 16, last year became champion in Latvia, where Solberg’s own cousin Oliver is now also embarking on his rally career.
Up against domestic drivers with experience on British stages, Oscar and co-driver Patrik Barth took the Junior BRC lead on the second stage in darkness on Friday evening and held it throughout Saturday. He kept his cool under sustained pressure in the middle of the event before opening up an advantage of 51 seconds in the closing tests.
His performance ensured Pirelli became the first winner in Junior BRC since the category – for drivers under the age of 26 – was opened up to competing tyre companies for this season.
Solberg will benefit from the unparalleled prize fund Pirelli is offering to successful competitors in this year’s BRC, with £25,000 worth of tyre vouchers available during the season for achievements such as a Junior BRC win.
There were other successes for Pirelli on the all-gravel Border Counties Rally, where the range of Scorpion gravel tyres was supplied. Barrie Groundwater and Freddie Milne finished one-two in the National Rally Cup open class in their Mitsubishis, which were the leading production cars in the BRC event. Groundwater joined Pirelli’s two main drivers in the top R5 category – Euan Thorburn and Jonny Greer – in the overall top 10. The event was also a round of the Scottish Rally Championship, where reigning champion Jock Armstrong led Mike Faulkner, Rory Young, Mark McCulloch and Greg McKnight in a top-five sweep for Pirelli.
The Pirelli International Rally will be the next round of the British Rally Championship on April 29-30.
Matthew Corby, Pirelli UK motorsport operations manager, said: “We are delighted with Oscar Solberg’s performance this weekend. With such a dominant result on his first ever rally in the UK, he has proven not only his own potential, but also the quality of our Scorpion gravel tyres. Pirelli is proud to play a key role in creating the next generation of rally champions, and it’s good to start the season with a Junior BRC win.”