Oliver Solberg will go from adding three more fastest stage times in the FIA European Rally Championship to challenging for class success in the FIA World Rally Championship in Sardinia from tomorrow (Friday).

Solberg and co-driver Aaron Johnston will switch from the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 they use in the ERC to a Škoda Fabia Rally2 for Rally Italia Sardegna.

And although a turbo issue ruled out a third successive ERC1 Junior victory and a shot at the overall win on Rally Fafe Montelongo, the 19-year-old once again underlined his pace with a series of a fastest stage times, having bounced back from a crash in shakedown.

“Before I talk anything about the rally, I want to say a very big thank you to every single member of the team,” said the Monster Energy-backed driver. “The Wolf Pack was really coming together after I made a mistake in shakedown on Friday.

“The car was quite badly damaged, but as soon as the FIA said we could try to fix it, I knew the guys would make it happen. They worked 14 hours straight through the night and they made the car look like new again. They are the best in the world.

“After that, the rally has been a tough one. We had some issues and sometimes we took the wrong tyres. But there is still some big positives to take from this event.

“It’s been a little bit of a crazy weekend in Portugal, but I learned so much. When you are trying to drive with the tyre which is not perfect for the conditions – which you have to do sometimes, you are never going to have exactly the correct tyre all the time – then you are taking so much experience all of the time. The grip level was so hard to judge on some of the roads, but these kind of tough weekends are the ones where you really take the hard lessons. The main thing for me is to see the improvement in the speed on this surface.”

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