In 2014, Ole Christian Veiby made his WRC debut at Rally Spain. This weekend he is back where it all began and competes at the event for the fourth time.
Ole Christian Veiby has taken big steps forward in his career since he did his first WRC event three years ago. Although Rally Spain is one of his favorite WRC rallies, he has always had trouble at the unique event where Friday’s stages consists of gravel while tarmac is the surface on Saturday and Sunday.
“I think it’s fun to drive on gravel and then switch to tarmac. Unfortunately I’ve had to retire on Friday all three times that I’ve done this rally, but there’s no doubt that it still is one of my favorite events. I really like Spain and the stages even though I’ve had a bit of bad luck on the gravel stages. This year I’m aiming for it to go smoothly” said the Norwegian 21-year-old.
He and his co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen have had a good two-day test ahead of the rally and they feel well prepared.
“The gravel stages are pretty much the same as previous years, while there are new tarmac stages” said Ole.
The target is to finish on the podium and the key to succeed is to get a trouble free Friday.
“I see Jan Kopecky as my toughest competitor. He is very quick on tarmac, but not quite as fast on gravel. I’m hoping to beat him on Friday and have a little gap going into Saturday and Sunday. I’ve driven a lot on gravel this year, but I feel that I’m just as quick on tarmac and like that surface” said the Skoda driver.
He describes the tarmac roads of Spain as similar to a race track. Compared to the German rally, there are less opportunities to cut the corners and the speed is higher.
“Many Norwegians travel to Spain every year to follow the rally. It adds extra spice to the experience” said Ole, who competes for Printsport and is not nominated for WRC2 in Spain. But at Wales Rally GB, which is the next WRC round, he is nominated by Skoda Motorsport and will compete for them together with this year’s WRC2 champion Pontus Tidemand.
“To get this opportunity from Skoda is incredibly fun and a feather in my cap. It has always been my goal to compete for championship points for a works team. I’ve received great feedback that Skoda is very pleased with what I’ve accomplished this season, both in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and that I have won and finished on the podium at WRC2 events” said Ole.
Time schedule Rally Spain
Friday 6 October (gravel)
09:53 SS1 Caseres 1 (12,50km)
10:21 SS2 Bot 1 (6,50km)
10:56 SS3 Terra Alta 1 (38,95km)
13:11 Service Port Aventura
15:19 SS4 Caseres 2 (12,50km)
15:47 SS5 Bot 2 (6,50km)
16:22 SS6 Terra Alta 2 (38,95km)
18:32 Service Port Aventura
Saturday 7 October
08:00 SS7 El Montmell 1 (24,40km)
09:07 SS8 El Pont d’Armentera 1 (21,29km)
09:54 SS9 Savalla 1 (14,12km)
11:35 Service Port Aventura
13:08 SS10 El Montmell 2 (24,40km) LiveTV
14:15 SS11 El Pont d’Armentera 2 (21,29km)
15:02 SS12 Savalla 2 (14,12km)
17:00 SS13 Salou (2,24km)
17:30 Service Port Aventura
Sunday 8 October
07:00 SS14 L’Albiol 1 (6,28km)
07:38 SS15 Riudecanyes 1 (16,35km)
08:38 SS16 Santa Marina 1 (14,50km) LiveTV
10:14 SS17 L’Albiol 2 (6,28km)
10:53 SS18 Riudecanyes 2 (16,35km)
12:18 SS19 Santa Marina 2 Power Stage (14,50km) LiveTV