Solberg: ‘I used to be nearly despatched dwelling’

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Solberg: ‘I was almost sent home’


Sounds just a little far-fetched to be true? Not a little bit of it. Simply one other journey within the extraordinary profession of Mr Hollywood.

In 1999 as a fresh-faced, desirous to please and enthusiastic rookie at Ford, the then 24-year-old Solberg was drafted into the Blue Oval’s Safari Rally line-up on the final minute for his Focus World Rally Automobile debut alongside illustrious team-mate Colin McRae.

Workforce boss Malcolm Wilson despatched three-time Safari winner Fred Gallagher to Kenya to offer expertise for the younger Norwegian – and to maintain his unboubted tempo in examine on the car-breaking Rift Valley roads.

Solberg en path to victory in Japan in 2004

The plan was shortly in chaos after Solberg’s enthusiasm acquired the higher of him and he set a exceptional time within the pre-event shakedown, which greater than examined Wilson’s skill to maintain cool within the searing warmth.

“He nearly despatched me dwelling!” Solberg tells Becs Williams in a captivating interview for the newest WRC Backstories podcast.

“I used to be too quick on the shakedown and I get a b******ing from Malcolm and I used to be down on the ground and crying. He was completely proper.

“I used to be a really delicate individual so it’s exhausting to sort out that world when you’re coming from this small farm in Norway into the massive world, so it was an enormous step. I didn’t have anyone to ask or study from. In a method I deserved it,” defined Solberg, who discovered his lesson and went on to complete fifth after a exceptional drive.




Solberg laughs as he recollects being informed to close up by McRae and Carlos Sainz once they uninterested in him always asking questions in an try and study. However the Norwegian struck up a agency friendship with McRae, who gained the WRC title 25 years in the past on Sunday (22 November).

“Being within the crew with Colin and Carlos was an enormous factor. Colin was so good to me and helped me. We skilled loads collectively and went for dinners loads.

“He took care of me, after I was within the s*** generally with crashing. It was good motivation assist from him as a result of I feel he had been by way of the identical himself, perhaps on a special scale. It was good to have this friendship feeling,” displays Solberg.


Video: Trailer – Colin McRae: 25 Years A Champion


As all the time with Solberg, the interview options some hilarious tales, together with the acquisition of his first rally automotive and his debut with brother Henning’s spouse, Maud, within the co-driver’s seat.

He additionally talks of his makes an attempt to steer son Oliver into soccer, tennis or ice hockey earlier than the motorsport bug bit, and his dream of bringing extra producers into the WRC.





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