Ole Christian Veiby took third place at Rally Sørland and climbed to the lead in the Norwegian Rally Championship standings.
Ahead of the event, Ole Christian Veiby said that he has never had a great event at Rally Sørland and hoped that this would be the year to succeed. But the Skoda driver realized already on the first stage that also this year’s rally was going to be difficult.
“Already at the third corner I got surprised of how slippery it was and couldn’t find the rhythm in my driving. It was a really demanding day. We drove without confidence and didn’t dare to push properly” he said.
Together with his co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen, he had to work hard throughout the day. Even though they are coming home from the event without a great feeling, they still set some good stage times – and are pleased to lead the championship.
“There were positives too, of course. It went up and down during the day but we did have some great stages. We also take with us the fact that we completed Rally Sørland for the first time” said Ole.
After a really good debut for Skoda Motorsport in New Zealand, Ole sees this as a bit of a step back.
“We drove much better in New Zealand. But I’m definitely not worried. Now we’ll do the recce for Rally Portugal and then fly to Australia for the second round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). We’ll be out looking for revenge” he said.
Prior to the season’s fourth round in the Norwegian Championship, Ole was second in the overall standings, 18 points behind leading Eyvind Brynildsen. Since he had to retire, Ole climbs up the leaderboard and he, Brynildsen and Anders Grøndal is now tied for the lead.
“It is not decided if I’m going to compete at more Norwegian championship rounds this season or not. The APRC and selected WRC rounds are my main priority, so we’ll see how it turns out” said Ole.
The fifth round of the Norwegian championship is Aurskog-Høland Rally on June 17.
Photo: Oliver Alfredsen
Top 10 at Rally Sørland 2017
1. Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene, Asker og Bærum Motorsport, Ford Fiesta R5
2. Anders Grøndal/Roger Eilertsen, Asker og Bærum Motorsport, Ford Fiesta R5 +1.42,4
3. Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjærmoen, KNA Solør Msp/NMK Elverum, Skoda Fabia R5 +2.06,4
4. Søren Snartemo/Arne-Ingar Stulen, NMK Konsmo, Mitsubishi Evo 6 +3.27,0
5. Arnt Gustav Olsen/Rune Eilertsen, Asker og Bærum Motorsport, Ford fiesta R5 +8.34,8
6. Kenneth Johnsrød/Eirik Borge, Asker og Bærum Motorsport, Mitsubishi Evo IX 9.39,8
7. Bernt Kollevold/Ove Johhny Andersen, Asker og Bærum Motorsport, Mitsubishi Evo 9 +10.0,8
8. Morten Bredesen/Petter Bredesen, NMK Hadeland, Volvo 240 Turbo +10.03,3
9. Mats Peder Hvambsahl/Kristian Hvambsal Eriksen, KNA Kongsberg, Volvo 940 Evo +10.12,1
10. Oddbjørn Røed/Haakon Sande, NMK Sandefjord, Ford Fiesta R5 +10.37,9
Norwegian Rally Championship 2017 standings after 4 out of 7 rounds
4WD (Gr. N, R5, RRC, S2000)
1. Eyvind Brynildsen, KNA Varna, Ford Fiesta R5, 71
1. Ole Chr. Veiby, KNA Solør Msp, Skoda Fabia R5, 71
1. Anders Grøndal, Asker og Bærum Msp, Ford Fiesta R5, 71
4. Mads Østberg, Asker og Bærum Msp, Ford Fiesta R5, 60
5. Frank Tore Larsen, NMK Modum & Sigdal, Ford Fiesta R5, 53
6. Oddbjørn Røed, NMK Sandefjord, Ford Fiesta R5, 36