Oliver Solberg had to step down in the rally hierarchy for this season.
When the WRC 2 class raced for the season's first WC points during Rally Sweden in Umeå, the 21-year-old showed class and drove home the victory accurately.
The margin of victory for the runner-up, the Norwegian Ole-Christian Veiby, was a whopping 42.3 seconds, and Sami Pajari finished third.
- To be able to win on home ground is fantastic, stated Solberg, who was well praised by the Umeå crowd, his parents Pernilla and Petter on the infield after the finish.
Solberg immediately delivered for his new team, German Toksport, driving controlled and stable throughout the weekend. In last year's competition, he drove one of the Hyundai team's WRC cars.
This year he enjoyed the beautiful winter roads around Umeå and Västerbotten in his new Skoda Fabia RS.
- I had an even weekend, made good tire choices, and everything worked. It feels great to start the year, and I've got a good feeling back and enjoy being on the team. I am as happy as I can be, stated a victorious Solberg after the finish.
Driving his new car safely himself, Solberg now drove home 8 out of 18 special stages over the weekend and seriously showed the dream of once again that he is not going giving up on the vision of once again being a factory driver in the future.
The goal before the competition was to win, and he fulfilled that with flying colors.
- This undeniably gives confidence for the future.
Runner-up Ole-Christian Veiby was happy with the silver.
- It has been a fun duel all weekend. I came here to win, but we lost a little too much after a ride on Friday. Oliver has been great all weekend, noted Veiby.
Rally Sweden är en av 13 deltävlingar i WRC, världsmästerskapen i rally, och det enda utpräglade vinterrallyt. Det är Sveriges största årligen återkommande evenemang med över 100 000 åskådare under fyra dagar och närmare 120 miljoner tv-tittare runt hela världen! Tävlingarna avgörs för första gången i år i Umeå i Västerbotten. Tävlingen har körts sedan 1950 och varit vinterrally sedan 1965. Rally Sweden är känt som en vinterfestival, där publiken kommer förare, bilar och tävlingarna riktigt nära – Closer to Rally.