MOTOR SPORT

Hyundai Motorsport confirm line-up ahead of Safari Rally

Oliver Solberg will replace Spaniard Dani Sordo

Swedish driver Oliver Solberg waves as he takes a departure of the 90th WRC Monte-Carlo Rally, in Monaco on january 20, 2022. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

World Rally Championship (WRC) rookie Oliver Solberg is set to return to Kenya for the much-anticipated Safari Rally, where he made his gravel debut last year.

The 20-year-old will return to the third factory i20 N in Naivasha, meaning he will make way for teammate Dani Sordo to contest back-to-back rallies in Portugal this weekend, followed by Sardinia between June 2-5.

Solberg will be aiming to recoup himself this time round after he retired from last year's race with chassis damage sustained by a 19G impact going through a compression and into a bank on the opening stage.

Despite the disappointment at last year's edition of the Safari Rally - the son of legendary driver, Petter Solberg - signed off on his first year as a Hyundai Motorsport driver in the WRC with fifth place at Rally Monza.

After spending 2021 in WRC2, rookie Solberg has contested the opening three events of the 2022 season in Monte Carlo, Sweden and Croatia.

While absent from the WRC top tier this weekend, Solberg is set to compete in Rally Portugal aboard a WRC2-specification Hyundai i20. Solberg learned lots last season and it will be fascinating to see how he turns that knowledge to power at this year's edition of the Safari Rally.

Similar to last year, the Safari Rally will revolve around Nairobi and Naivasha covering a total distance of 1226.23km between June 23 and 27.

Shakedown returns to Ndulele Conservancy on June 22. The Super Special Stage also returns to Kasarani on June 23 where WRC crew will recce in their Rally 1 hybrids.

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