A world champion and a world championship event winner have united in their praise of rising star Oliver Solberg.

Solberg arrived in Latvia on the back of his third-place finish on Rally di Roma Capitale, his first pure asphalt event, and delivered another strong performance alongside co-driver Aaron Johnston.

“His driving was exceptional but still he did some mistakes with the launch and he also did two spins yesterday in the dust,” his father Petter Solberg said at the finish of Rally Liepāja on 16 August. “Less mistakes would be welcome but he hasn’t driven so much in the dust so he was learning you have to be calmer when there is a lot of dust. But fantastic driving, controlling, not doing any crazy things but being consistent and it was very well driven.

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“When he had the misfire, it was for seven kilometres but it started to go on all four again. Then he pushed like mad and lost about five or six seconds. This can happen but he coped with it very well and didn’t lose his head because of it or get crazy. We found the problem very quickly and it was sorted so I’m very happy with that. But what a weekend, incredible. Three European championship [rallies] and two victories and one third on Tarmac.”

Mads Østberg, who finished second behind Solberg on Rally Liepāja, said: “He was amazing this weekend and his performance was very, very good. We knew when we arrived here it would be difficult to fight with him because he knows the stages really well. He did his first years of rally in [Latvia] and he proved [he could] cope with the pressure and expectations. He delivered a good result on every stage, he was blindingly fast and has shown everyone else where the pace is.”

Østberg and Solberg Jr will both be in action on the world championship-counting Rally Estonia this week.

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