Despite losing out on a third ERC1 Junior class victory to Adrien Fourmaux on Rally Islas Canarias, Oliver Solberg is the FIA ERC1 Junior champion** for 2020 backed up by co-driver Aaron Johnston. He’s also the recipient of a grant of €100,000 for two European championship rallies in 2021.
Solberg, the 19-year-old son of 2003 world champion Petter Solberg, started the event trailing Grégoire Munster but took advantage when Munster picked up a puncture on the opening stage and then lost more ground running dry-weather tyres on Friday’s rain-hit first loop.
“It’s incredible I have to say and finishing second behind Lukyanuk is also great after a not easy season,” said the Volkswagen-powered, Pirelli-equipped Swede. “We just wanted to get some Tarmac experience and the ERC has certainly given me that experience. Winning the title is amazing after such tough competition on every race. Being just 19 years old, having never done Tarmac before is really fantastic. Now we have to plan for 2021 and how we spend the money we’ve won.”
Munster, part of the Hyundai Junior Driver programme, settled for second place in the final standings in his BMA Autosport-run i20 R5 with 2019 ERC3/ERC3 Junior champion Efrén Llarena taking third for Rallye Team Spain. Like Munster, Llarena dropped out of contention for victory after opting for dry weather tyres on the rain-hit first morning. He came home seventh in class as Solberg finished second ahead of third-placed Callum Devine from the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy.
ORLEN Team’s Miko Marczyk finished fourth with Simone Tempestini fifth and Munster sixth after a flurry of late stage bests. Erik Cais restarted after crashing his Yacco ACCR Team Ford Fiesta on leg one and finished eighth.
**Subject to confirmation of the final results