The veteran Briton replaces Aaron Johnston in the Hyundai Motorsport i20 N Rally2 after the Irishman and Solberg agreed to go their separate ways last week amid a frenzied driver’s circuit at the top level of the World Rally Championship.
Drew and driver David Higgins dominated America’s roads, winning eight titles in nine seasons for Subaru from 2011 to 2019. They were Solberg’s teammates when the Swede tackled the series in 2019.
“Craig is a good guy, a former teammate and I know him very well,” said Solberg, who left his teenage years when he celebrated his 20th birthday on Thursday. “I really want to work with him.”
It is understood that the partnership will only be for Finland when Solberg completes a permanent replacement for Johnston. Drew acknowledged that launching a new relationship into the fastest round of the FIA World Rally Championship would not be easy at all.
“It’s a tough event to switch to a new car and a new driver, but having worked as Oliver’s teammate in 2019, it won’t take long for us to integrate,” he said.
“We will make sure to work hard together on pre-event testing to find a beat with Oliver’s rhythm feedback system and prepare for this iconic event as much as possible.”
Round 11 marks Solberg’s debut on the gravel roads of Rally Finland, although he finished seventh on the icy tracks in Lapland in February at Arctic Rally Finland using CapitalBox technology.
“This is probably the gathering I’ve been looking forward to the most this year,” he admitted. “We had a thing for Finland when we did the Arctic in February, but that’s the thing. This is what I was dreaming of.
“We saw that we had a good speed and that we were leading the last time in Greece. Yes, this time the roads are full of gravel again, but it is very different from the Acropolis, much faster.”
Solberg is 17 in WRC2 after retiring from the last three rounds and makes no predictions for specialist roads in Finland, where experience is so important.
“In terms of results, I think we have to be realistic and remember that this is my first time in Finland.
“I know there are some very fast people out there who know just about every inch of these roads; it doesn’t really make sense to think of hitting them. For me, I have to take advantage of the experience and enjoy driving the car.”
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