Ole Christian Veiby got to experience exactly how brutal Rallye Monte-Carlo can be – and had to retire after an off on Saturday.
The rally talent stated ahead of the event that his goal was to complete the difficult WRC season opener to get as much experience as possible. Unfortunately, he did not make it to the finish, but he and his co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen still got to show off their superb driving during the first days.
“The conditions today were extreme. It had snowed overnight and there were several centimeters of snow on the road – something that made it incredibly slippery. I just tried to drive in a controlled way and stay in the lines. But suddenly we lost control over the rear of the car and there was nothing we could do. We hit a barrier on the left side and smashed into a rock side on the right. I do not know exactly what happened, but I think we lost the grip on the rear tyres” Ole explained.
This was the third time he participated at the world’s perhaps most well-known and dreaded rally. But this was the first time he did not reach the finish line.
“It is obviously a shame to not get to complete the rally, which was our goal. At the same time, we have lots of positives to take with us. I did a big part of the event, got many kilometers of experience in difficult conditions. I also did it well, especially on Friday. We drove very well in the beginning of the day when it was dry. The rain came in the afternoon and the conditions got more challenging. But we took it careful and made it through, while many others made mistakes” he said.
In the dry conditions on Friday, Ole was faster than several of the top drivers on some of the stages.
“It proves that we are on a good pace” he said.
Now Ole is focusing on the next WRC round in Sweden, where he, as a Skoda Motorsport driver, will compete for championship points. He will also participate at the Norwegian Rally Finnskog on February 3rd as part of his preparations for Rally Sweden.
“We will have a small test on Wednesday to adjust back to proper winter conditions. Rally Finnskog will be an important event for us” he said.