Son of the legendary Petter Solberg will compete alongside David Higgins and Travis Pastrana in 2019
Camden, New Jersey (February 14, 2019)
Subaru Motorsports USA announced today that rising rally and rallycross driver Oliver Solberg will compete for the championship title at 6 events of the 2019 American Rally Association (ARA) National Rally Championship Presented by AMSOIL. In the same announcement, the team confirmed the return of 2018 ARA championship winner David Higgins for all 8 remaining events this season and two drives for 2017 ARA champion Travis Pastrana.
The continuation of a family legacy, Oliver Solberg will return the iconic Solberg name to the side of a blue and gold Subaru. His father, the legendary Petter Solberg, was crowned 2003 World Rally Champion while driving for the Subaru World Rally Team. At the time of that championship, Oliver was barely two years old.
Now at the age of seventeen, the younger Solberg has already established himself in international rally and rallycross. The recently crowned RallyX Nordic champion has also seen success in Crosskart racing, taken overall wins in European stage rally events, and become the youngest driver ever to compete in a World Rallycross Supercar. He will also be making several appearances in the World Rally Championship this season, including this weekend at Rally Sweden. Off the race course, Solberg recently played a featured role in Ken Block’s Gymkahana 10 and its supporting behind the scenes documentary, the Gymkahana Files.
“I don’t think anybody could begin to understand what a big deal this is for me,” said Solberg. “I was two years old when my father was World Rally Champion and remember so well how proud I was of dad wearing blue and yellow and driving a car of the same color. I even still today have the Subaru bed sheets. For me to have the chance to wear the same colors and drive under the same name is something unbelievable.”
Solberg and British co-driver Aaron Johnston will compete for the 2019 ARA title in a total of 6 national championship events alongside defending ARA champions and seven-time U.S. rally title-winners David Higgins and Craig Drew. Action sports icon and five-time national rally champion Travis Pastrana will also return to the Vermont SportsCar-prepared Open 4WD class WRX STI for select events alongside co-driver Robbie Durant.
Subaru Motorsports USA will begin their ARA season at next month’s 100 Acre Wood Rally from March 15-16. The Missouri-based event will be the first to see the 2019 blue and gold machines hit the stages. There, David Higgins and Craig Drew will kick off their title defense and compete at all remaining events this season while Solberg and Johnston will see their first stage miles in America.
Travis Pastrana is scheduled to return to the stages at two U.S. rounds in 2019, the Oregon Trail Rally (May 31 - June 2) and at Muscatell Ojibwe Forests Rally (August 23 - 24).
“We did Wales Rally GB in a Subaru liveried the same as Colin McRae’s 1995 title-winning car in 2015 and the response to that was huge,” said 2018 ARA champion David Higgins. “People have such fondness and affection for these colors; when I heard we were going back to the blue and yellow livery for this year I was delighted. I don’t know Oliver all that well, I haven’t competed against him before, but he’s a Solberg and I think we all know what that means! It’s fantastic to have him on the team with us this season.”
Subaru Motorsports Rally Schedule
Subaru Motorsports also showed the first images of the Vermont Sportscar-prepared 2019 WRX STI in the iconic Subaru livery. Previously released images were of the rallycross car. See how the stage rally machine took to the pleiades cluster in the gallery below.
Photo Credit: Ben Haulenbeek, Subaru Motorsports