Sign Up

Our Privacy Policy identifies how we handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act. Read it prior to submitting your information.

By clicking “Register” you agree to our Terms Of Use and Privacy Policy.

Sons of guns keep family ties in the WRC

This year’s World Rally Championship is a story of emerging sons of guns.

Toyota driver Kalle Rovanpera is just 21 years old, but currently leads this year’s title by 72-points after securing five wins so far this season. However, Rovanpera comes from a family full of rallying pedigree as father Harri took a win and 15 podiums as he formed part of Peugeot squad, which achieved a hattrick of WRC Manufacturers’ titles during the early 2000s.

Rovanpera isn’t the only second generation star currently gracing the WRC as Hyundai has its own.

Oliver Solberg joined the Korean manufacturer last year and achieved solid results in a limited program, but a promising performance on Belgium’s Ypres Rally will ensure he makes the trip to New Zealand.

Solberg’s rallying pedigree comes from both sides of his family as mother Pernilla is the daughter of former factory Volvo driver Per-Inge Walfridsson and competed herself.

Meanwhile, father Petter led Subaru’s charge during its twilight years in the WRC and won the manufacturer’s last world title in 2003. One of the sports most popular drivers, Petter was passionate, quick and spectacular earning the respect of fans worldwide.

Achieving 13 wins during his career, Solberg senior enjoyed further success in Rallycross where Oliver did his formative years before stepping back to focus on his son’s career.

Oliver is regarded as one of the next generation of talented drivers alongside Rovanpera and M-Sport’s Adrian Fourmaux.

As Repco Rally New Zealand returns to the WRC calendar, Solberg junior has the opportunity to replicate his father’s win at the event in 2004, when he was just three years old.

It was a classic victory for Petter as it kickstarted a surge during the second half of what had been a disappointing title defence. He won out in a battle with long-time rival Marcus Gronholm by a mere 5.9s after three days of competition.

Oliver joins Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak in a three-entry Hyundai attack.