› Competing for team Toksport WRT, Škoda Motorsport supported Oliver Solberg from Sweden has the goal to score a top result at the first round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
› Former FIA European Rally Champion Chris Ingram from the United Kingdom takes to the wheel of a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 run by The Racing Factory squad.
› Three times Spanish Rally Superchampionship winner Pepe López (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 from Mapo Motorsport) chases another WRC2 podium result.
Mladá Boleslav, 24. January 2024 – As usual, the Rallye Monte-Carlo (25-28 January) kicks off the FIA World Rally Championship. 17 stages covering 324 kilometres of Alpine roads north of the Principality await the teams. All kind of road conditions are expected: tarmac from bone dry to wet as well as patches of ice and snow. Young Swede Oliver Solberg and British co-driver Elliott Edmondson (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) are among the favourites for class victory.
The upcoming Rallye Monte-Carlo will see Škoda driver Chris Ingram fighting for WRC2 points. The 2019 FIA European Rally Champion and co-driver Hannah McKillop compete with a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 run by Portuguese team The Racing Factory. The British crew goes head to head with three times Spanish Rally Superchampionship winner Pepe López. López shares a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 from Mapo Motorsport with co-driver David Vázquez. Last year, the Spanish crew finished Rallye Monte-Carlo third in WRC2. 13 of the 23 crews entered into RC2 class at Rallye Monte-Carlo rely on the rally car from Mladá Boleslav.
Another Škoda driver starting at the Rallye Monte-Carlo is Oliver Solberg. With the partnership between Škoda Motorsport and continuing in 2024, he campaigns a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 run by team Toksport WRT, together with British co-driver Elliott Edmondson. The ultimate goal for Solberg is to win the WRC2 title.
Yet, in contrast to Ingram, Oliver Solberg decided, not to nominate Rallye Monte-Carlo as one of his WRC2 points scoring events. Instead, he will go “all in” for victory in the highly competitive RC2 class. “Rallye Monte-Carlo is one of the most unpredictable events. I want to enjoy this classic rally and drive as fast as I can without any pressure. I will start my WRC2 campaign later, at the second round, my home rally in Sweden,” explains the 22-year-young Swede.
As by regulations, drivers registered for this championship can score points only at seven of the 13 rallies of the 2024 season. Which ones is up to their personal choice.
The son of former FIA World Rally Champion Petter Solberg has to face 29 competitors representing six manufacturers. One of the fastest Škoda drivers of the past years has left the RC2 class: Andreas Mikkelsen from Norway. The reigning WRC2 champion, who won the 2023 title at the wheel of a Toksport WRT run Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, advanced to a Rally1 car and is now fighting for overall victory.
The 2024 season opener starts on Thursday evening (25 January) in front of the world-famous Casino in Monte-Carlo, followed by two night stages covering around 46 kilometres. On Friday and Saturday respectively, six more stages follow. Sunday has another three stages in store. The total distance of competing against the clock is 324 kilometres.
Did you know, that…
...the Rallye Monte-Carlo was first held in 1911, making it the oldest event on the current WRC calendar and one of the oldest rallies still in existence?
...the event was originally created to boost tourism in Monaco in the less attractive winter months? Until 1998, the participants drove on roads from starting points all over Europe and even North Africa to a common assembly point in Monte-Carlo or France. Only from there, the real competition started.
...usually the right tyre choice is the secret behind winning Rallye Monte-Carlo? The teams have to tackle up to three special stages without service break. They have to rely on the four tyres mounted on their cars plus a maximum of two spare wheels. In theory, the whole competition distance is run on tarmac. But all too often one stage is at least in parts covered in deep snow, while the next test features icy patches with other parts wet or even dry. So, the choice of tyres is almost always a compromise. Which some drivers can handle better than others.
...sometimes seemingly strange tyre combinations are used? Occasionally, snow tyres with studs and slicks with almost no grooves are mounted at the same time in an effort to be somehow well prepared for the changing road conditions.
2024 FIA World Rally Championship
|Safari Rally Kenya
|Rally de Portugal
|Rally Italia Sardegna
|30 May-2 June
|Acropolis Rally Greece
|Central European Rally (CZE/AUT/DEU)
|31 October – 3 November*
* subject to change