The talented young Norwegian have just received the best Christmas gift he could ask for, in advance, with the signing of a new contract with the successful Skoda Motorsport. – I’m very proud and happy for this opportunity, I’m not sure I can describe how much this means for me, says a smiling Ole Christian Veiby.
Today Ole Christian (21) and co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen attended the official Skoda Motorsport press conference in Czech Republic, where the team announced their driver line-up for 2018. Alongside the young Norwegian, will also be Even Management driver Pontus Tidemand (27), Juuso Nordgren (21) and Kalle Rovanperä (17).
– The new contract must mean that Skoda Motorsport is happy with what we have achieved through the season, says Ole Christian.
Together with co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen, Ole Christian have competed in the Asian Pacific Rally Championship this season for Skoda Motorsport. They came second in the championship, after a close fight for the title down to the very last rally. A broken gear-box saw them finish second in the final event, and also in the championship. – I’ve learned so much in the APRC, everything is different from surfaces to temperature. All the rallies where new to me, but still we managed to win in both Australia and Malaysia, and finish second in both New Zealand and India, Ole explains.
The Norwegians also contested in the WRC2 as a private team, with the victory at Rally Poland as the highlight of the year. They also got the chance to a manufacturer drive with Skoda Motorsport at Wales Rally GB in November. Now they can prepare for more WRC2 events with the Czech manufacturer team. – Rally is a complex sport, and you need a lot of experience to succeed on a top level. Through the 2017 season I have proved that I can be fast, and also that I’m good enough to win in the WRC2. But I’m planning on a long-term, and there is no stress about victories. I would say that top-3 in the WRC2 would be a reasonable target for us, says Ole Christian.
– Ole Christian is determined and a hard-working athlete, he has taken huge steps the last two seasons, and we are very proud of his performance in 2017. Together we have worked hard to get this deal with Skoda Motorsport, and we are very happy for this opportunity, says Roy Snellingen, Sporting Director in EVEN Management.
With this contract, Ole Christian is now one of two Norwegians with a manufacturer drive in the WRC, and all four rally drivers in EVEN management will be competing for a manufacturer in the WRC for the 2018 season. Ole Christian will also be competing alongside the current WRC2 champion, Pontus Tidemand, who continues his partnership with Skoda Motorsport.
2017 marks the most successful year in 116 years for Skoda Motorsport. In addition to their WRC2 title this year, they also claimed 14 national titles in 2017.
– It is very motivating that this strong and successful team have chosen me to join them in defending their current championship title. I can’t wait to get started, Ole Christian adds.