Solberg dominant in FIA ERC Royal Rally of Scandinavia


Oliver Solberg, a 22-year-old from Sweden, emerged as the double winner of the BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia in the FIA European Rally Championship.

He drove his Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 on Pirelli tyres and was co-driven to first place by Briton Elliott Edmondson. Solberg began the second day with a narrow 3.3sec lead over Hayden Paddon, who ultimately finished third due to tire damage on the deciding test.

During the morning loop, Solberg was fastest on all four stages, reaching midday service in Karlstad with a lead of 13.7sec. In the afternoon, he continued to push and added another four stage wins to his tally, including the event-closing Power Stage, finishing 38.0sec ahead of his rivals.

Paddon, who finished third and earned his first podium finish of the season, is now tied for the top spot on the title table with Mathieu Franceschi at 56 points.

Heikkilä also had a podium finish, which was well-deserved after retiring from the lead of the V-Híd Rally Hungary season opener in April. However, he faced some challenges, including a pop-off valve issue on SS15 and a wide moment at a junction on the penultimate test.

The rest of the top positions were claimed by Frank Tore Larsen in fourth, Mads Østberg in fifth, Isak Reiersen in seventh, and Johan Kristoffersson in 11th. Several competitors encountered issues, such as Michelin-shod Heikkilä, who had a pop-off valve issue and a wide moment at a junction on the penultimate test, and Mathieu Franceschi, who suffered during the event and retired for the first time in 2024.

Mārtiṇš Sesks also faced setbacks when his Toyota stalled and half-spun twice in quick succession in sight of the SS10 finish, causing him to slip from fifth to eighth. In the end, it was a challenging but rewarding event for all the competitors, with ups and downs defining their performances.