“This is probably the biggest thing I have experienced as a rally driver. To win Rally Monte-Carlo is prestigious”,
said a delighted Ole Christian Veiby after his victory at the season’s first WRC round. No Norwegians have won the legendary Rally Monte-Carlo in modern times. But the 19-year-old Ole Christian Veiby decided to do something about that. He dominated the WRC 3, the class for two wheel drive cars, completely this weekend. At the finish he was almost four minutes ahead of the runner-up. That is pure domination – only six months after he got his driver’s license.
“To win in Monte Carlo is huge. It is something I have dreamt about since I was a kid. That it would happen this early in my career is incredibly big” said Ole, who despite his impressive victory keeps his both feet on the ground.
“We have driven at a comfortable pace all weekend. At this event it is important to be smart and make the right tyre choice. I feel like we did that and I would like to share the credit for that with my ice crew, the guys who drive through the stages and give me feedback on the conditions. The whole team has done a fantastic job” said Ole, who drives a Citröen DS3 R3T, run by the Finnish team Printsport.
On Thursday evening, Ole stayed in control in the darkness and was in second place after the two night stages. He took the lead early on Friday and held on to it throughout the rest of the weekend.
“We started our rally wisely, but at the same time we put distance between us and the others and built up a good lead. That gives you confidence, yet it is not easy. You can not relax and take it easy. If you try to take it easy at a rally, you can quickly lose the rhythm in your driving. So that is why we just continued to do our own race” he explained.
At the finish, Ole had almost four minutes down to Frenchman Jordan Berfa, who finished second. Italian Fabio Andolfi took the third place, as much as four and a half minute behind Ole.
“For us, this was a completely trouble free rally, without any technical challenges of any kind. The only thing that happened was that we hit the brakes a little late in a junction and had to reverse, but it was very undramatic. I’m a bit surprised that the time differences were so big since there were so many two wheel drive cars in the field” he pointed out.
At Rally Monte-Carlo, Ole had the experienced Swede Jonas Andersson in the co-driver’s seat. When Ole takes on Rally Finnskog on 6 February, his new co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen will take Jonas’ place.
“Jonas has done a fantastic job and it worked perfectly from the first stage” said Ole.
The young rally talent ended last year by winning his class at the WRC event in Wales, which means that he has won two WRC rounds in a row.
“It is nice to bring that knowledge to Rally Finnskog in a couple of weeks and to Rally Sweden the weekend after that. At those events I will drive a Skoda Fabia R5 in the WRC 2 class. This is a four wheel drive car and it will be fun to compete against drivers like Mads Østberg and last year’s Norwegian rally champion Eyvind Brynildsen, who both will do Rally Finnskog in Ford Fiesta R5’s.
After finishing second in the Junior World Rally Championship last year, Ole has his eyes on winning the JWRC this season. The first round of the junior championship takes place in Portugal in May.
Results Rally Monte-Carlo, WRC3
1. O. Veiby 4:30:42.9
2. J. Berfa 4:34:29.5
3. F. Andolfi 4:35:12.5
4. D. De Tommaso 4:36:54.5
5. V. Dubert 4:46:41.6
6. M. Koci 4:49:14.4
7. E. Brazzoli 4:56:34.9
8. M. Fabre 5:00:24.6
9. I. Giusti 5:06:02.2