For the first time in his career, Ole Christian Veiby is a works driver at a WRC event. At Wales Rally GB, he competes for Skoda Motorsport.
Ole Christian Veiby has had a great season, where he drives the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) for Skoda Motorsport. In addition, the 21-year-old Norwegian has done selected WRC rounds as a privateer and has performed very well in the WRC2 class – with a victory in Poland as his highlight. This has resulted in Skoda Motorsport wanting to give him the chance as a works driver in the WRC2 and at the upcoming weekend’s event in Wales, he is part of a three-car team together with his Swedish EVEN Management colleague Pontus Tidemand, who has already secured the WRC 2 title, and Finnish Juuso Nordgren.
“To get this chance for a works team in the WRC2 is an exciting opportunity for me. This is what I have been working for all these years and it is finally happening. It is amazing” said Ole.
He and his co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen have been in the Czech Republic for a test, technical training and to get to know the team better.
“That was a very useful experience for us. The test actually took place in conditions similar to Wales. We also had to do some technical training to be as prepared as possible if something happens with the car and we, for example, have to change parts outside of service” said Ole.
He sees the trust they put in him in Wales as a confirmation that Skoda Motorsport is pleased with his development in 2017 and what he has accomplished both in the WRC and the APRC.
“They have not put any pressure on me, other than saying they want me to complete the rally in a good way. No team orders of any kind. And if we would get into a fight for the top positions, I think we will be allowed to battle for it. My goal is to do the job I am here for to make Skoda happy” he said.
Many great drivers come to start in the WRC2 class in Wales and Ole cannot hide the fact that it feels special to compete for a works team.
“This is my fourth time at Wales Rally GB so I feel like I know the event well. We are well prepared and know the stages from previous years. That gives us confidence” he said.
The British WRC round is known for its long days. Especially Saturday will be a marathon long day of approximately 17 hours before they can call it a night.
“To drive from early morning to late night is unusually long – but at the same time typical for Wales. It is a challenge and you obviously need to be in good physical shape. On the road sections I will probably let Stig Rune drive so I can relax a bit” said Ole, who now does his tenth WRC event in the WRC2 class.
Photo: Skoda Motorsport
Time schedule Wales Rally GB 2017 (CET -1 hour)
Thursday 26 October
19:00 SS1 Tir Prince (1,49km)
Friday 27 October
07:15 Service Deeside
10:20 SS2 Myherin 1 (20,28km)
11:00 SS3 Sweet Lamb 1 (4,24km)
11:15 SS4 Hafren 1 (35,14km)
13:23 Newtown Tyre & Light Fitting Zone
14:31 SS5 Myherin 2 (20,28km)
15:11 SS6 Sweet Lamb 2 (4,24km)
15:26 SS7 Hafren 2 (35,14km)
20:01 FlexiService Deeside
Saturday 28 October
06:10 Service Deeside
07:55 SS8 Aberhirnant 1 (13,91km)
08:47 SS9 Dyfnant 1 (17,91km)
09:59 SS10 Gartheiniog 1 (12,61km)
10:28 SS11 Dyfi 1 (25,86km)
12:08 SS12 Gartheiniog 2 (12,61km Live TV)
12:37 SS13 Dyfi 2 (25,86km)
15:48 SS14 Cholmondeley Castle (1,80km)
16:55 Service Deeside
18:55 SS15 Aberhirnant 2 (13,91km)
19:47 SS16 Dyfnant 2 (17,91km)
22:26 FlexiService Deeside
Sunday 29 October
07:00 Service Deeside
08:34 SS17 Alwen 1 (10,41km)
09:08 SS18 Brenig 1 (6,43km)
10:06 SS19 Gwydir (7,49km)
11:09 SS20 Alwen 2 (10,41km)
12:18 SS21 Brenig 2 (PowerStage 6,43km)