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Solberg ‘amazed’ by i20’s grip after Arctic Rally WRC test

Oliver Solberg said he’s been smiling all day after making his WRC debut at a test session ahead of the Arctic Rally later this month.

Solberg will make his competitive WRC debut with Hyundai at the event in Finland and on Monday had the opportunity to drive the i20 for the first time.

The 19-year-old was left “amazed” by the “incredible” grip in the high-speed corners following a trouble-free day of running.

“I can tell you I have been smiling from the first time I opened my eyes this morning and I didn’t stop all day,” he is quoted as saying by WRC.com. “I think the car was actually a little bit more straightforward to drive than I thought it would be.

“I was driving a lot in the rallycross car a couple of years ago, so I was ready for a lot of power and speed. What amazed me with the Hyundai i20 WRC was the grip in the higher-speed corners. The aero is just incredible.”

Solberg ran through various set-up programmes to hone the car to his style and was satisfied with the direction they found.

“I’m not going to tell you too much details on what we were doing exactly in the day, but we went through the suspension and differential set-ups and found some really good stuff,” he added.

“It would maybe have been nice to have some really higher-speed corners on the test road, just to find out what is possible in the full speed. But this is what I will focus on in the rally.

“People have asked me a lot what do I think is possible from the rally, but honestly I have to say nothing. The rally is like a longer test for me. I want to understand more from this fantastic car, I want to try some sixth-gear corners, I want to have fun and I want to keep smiling.”

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