Ole Christian Veiby finished Rally Sweden with a stunning Power Stage. The 19-year-old made quite a performance and was second fastest in the WRC 2.
Ahead of the last stage, the youngster planned on making an effort to steal sixth place from Emil Bergqvist. The Swede were 7.6 seconds ahead of him going into the final stage, something that on the paper might have been too much to catch. But Ole and co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen wanted to try. After driving controlled and not taking any risks all weekend, they decided to give it their all on the last stage. And they set an impressive time, 9.5 seconds quicker than Bergkvist and secured sixth place in the WRC 2 with a 0.9 seconds’ margin – in Ole’s debut with a four-wheel-drive car.
“My goal was to make it to sixth place and we made it with a margin of less than a second. A fantastic way to finish the event” says a pleased Ole.
Before the rally, the young Norwegian had no greater ambitions than to get experience from Rally Sweden with a four-wheel-drive car. That is why he stayed away from risks and drove safely in the difficult conditions.
“Our plan was to use Rally Finnskog as a warm-up for Rally Sweden. But we got a puncture and had to retire already on the first stage. Therefore we had to use Friday’s stages to get to know the car. But we never found a setup that we were pleased with, but on Saturday things went better and better” he says.
Throughout the whole event, they had a good progression and before the final stage, they were very keen on showing how fast they can be. And when they got an ‘ok’ from the team, they went all in and made a big push. Only Finnish Esapekka Lappi, who is teammates with Ole in EVEN Management, was faster in the WRC 2 category. Only 2.9 seconds separated them on the almost 16 km long stage.
“Lappi told me that he gave everything to secure third place, which he did. So I’m very happy to not be beaten with more than 2.9 seconds by a driver like him” says Ole, who had strong names like Pontus Tidemand, Elfyn Evans, Anders Grøndal and Eyvind Brynildsen behind him on the stage.
“It feels great to get a confirmation that we have such great pace” he says and adds that this experience has made him want to get back in a four-wheel-drive car as soon as possible.
“I will do two more rallies with this car during the winter in the Finnish championship, which will be incredibly fun” says Ole, who aims to win the Junior WRC this season. The first JWRC event is Rally Portugal in May
Results WRC2 Rally Sweden
- Evans, Ford
- Tidemand, Skoda +14,7
- Lappi, Skoda +1.50,9
- Grøndal, Ford +1.53,0
- Brynhildsen, Ford +2.30,5
- Veiby, Skoda +2.40,6
- Bergkvist, Ford +1.42,5