Rally Poland 30.6 – 3.7
Ole Christian Veiby is out looking for revenge after a disappointing opening round of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) last month in Portugal. “I hope things go our way in Poland and that we can fight for the victory” said Ole.
Rally Portugal did not offer Ole Christian Veiby and his co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen the start they had hoped for in this year’s JWRC. They had a challenging event with punctures and technical problems and eventually had to settle for fifth place in the first JWRC event of the season.
“Portugal was a big disappointment and you can definitely say that we are eager for revenge. It was a bummer to get that kind of start to the season. Technical problems and punctures are things you can not always control. That is the way it is in this sport. But now we cross our fingers that it will go our way in Poland since we after all did a great job inside the car in Portugal. We won several stages and were among the fastest crews when everything worked properly, and that is something we will take with us” said Ole, who since the opening round in Portugal has left his teens behind and turned 20 years old.
The Norwegian guys, who drive a Citröen DS3 R3T run by the Finnish team Printsport, has prepared thorughly for Rally Poland. Among other things, they have participated in the fourth round of the Finnish rally championship, where they dominated the event and took a convincing victory in a Skoda Fabia R5.
“The Polish round is the fastest event in the WRC. That is why it was great to get some kilometers in a Skoda Fabia R5, which is a car even faster than the one we use in the JWRC. Now we have the pace in our bodies” said Ole, who is not afraid that the adjustment back to the Citroën will be too difficult.
“We jumped right back into the Citroën for a test immediately after the Finnish rally, just to get used to that car again. It worked very well and I feel that we could not be better prepared for Poland” added Ole.
The JWRC event in Poland is a new and exciting adventure for Ole and Stig Rune and they welcome the challenge.
“Simone Tempestini, who I consider one of my strongest competitors, won in Poland last year and has an advantage in having the experience. But like I mentioned, we have prepared as well as we can and has no plans to give up without a fight. Our plan is to go flat out from start” said Ole.
So far in his young career, Ole Christian Veiby has not done as well at events with fast roads. But thanks to the rallies in Finland during the winter and the spring, it seems like those days are gone.
“I used to lose time on fast roads, but over the last year I have taken big steps forward. It is not about that I have more guts or that I have become more brave, it has everything to do with more experience – and that we have come a long way when it comes to pacenotes. To feel confident and trust the pacenotes is such an important thing. It is also about learning your limits and being mentally strong” explained Ole.
The 20-year-old describes Rally Poland and Rally Portugal as two extreme events.
“In Portugal, you can get a good result if you manage to stay away from problems and just finish the rally. In Poland you have to push from the first meter and that makes it a very fun rally to drive” he said.
Last year, the young Norwegian from Kongsvinger finished second in the JWRC. His goal for this season is to take another step up on the podium and take the championship title. But there are a few new competitors this year and Ole knows that it will be tough to reach his goal.
“Before Portugal, I was excited to see how fast my new competitors were, just like I was to see the level of my competitors from last year. I think we got the answer that we do have the pace that it takes to be quickest. That is a great feeling to bring to Rally Poland” said Ole.