Henning Solberg (51) says it helps to get back in the rally car after all the noise in recent years.
Less than 20 minutes ago
On Saturday, he took a sensational victory in the NM rally at Hadeland.
According to parcferme.no, it is the first time in 18 years that Petter Solberg’s older brother has won an NM rally.
– It was raw! states Henning Solberg when VG calls him.
The Hungarian rally team Top Cars rang in the New Year and offered him three NM rounds. The 51-year-old needed no thinking time to say yes. On Saturday, he signed off with victory, with help from, among others, Petter and his son Oliver, who drive the same Skoda in the WC and could offer good advice.
In recent years, Henning Solberg has been more talked about for his appearances in courtrooms than in the rally forest. He has been at odds with several people in financial matters, including his former DekkNor partner Ramiz Safdar. In the autumn of 2023, his farm in Spydeberg was put up for compulsory sale.
– It has been tough, I just have to admit it, says Henning Solberg to VG.
– When you are beaten in the media as I have been, and with a lot of untruths, then … I have nothing to stand up to when it comes to the press. I have to get back on my feet. It helps to get back in the rally car.
In contrast to younger brother Petter, who was a factory driver for both Ford and Subaru in his WC career, Henning Solberg did not make it that far. But he nevertheless managed six podium places in the WC.
– I had the whole family here: my wife Maud, the children, mum and dad, Petter and Oliver. Petter gave me very good support here, says Henning Solberg from Jaren, where the race was based.
– Do you want to drive more?
– Yes, now I get one more race with the Hungarian team, but I really want to drive more. I believe that it is possible to find sponsors. Surely I haven’t done so much wrong that it shouldn’t be possible? asks Solberg – and continues:
– I have neither “taka” nor driven drunk. So I have faith that it is possible.
Frank Tore Larsen followed Solberg to the door – but drove on the edge of the plow on the last stage. Thus, 2nd place went to Anders Grøndal/Ola Fløene and Thomas Kvam/Stian Johnsen came third.
– I was ten kilos lighter now. I took it so I turned blue. I just have to stand by it and hope that something positive will come out of it, says Henning Solberg, who had Austrian Ilka Minor in the map reader’s chair.
– Are you better than ever?
– I’m driving fast now! The Skoda fits me like a glove. This was cool!
- Bjørge Stensbøl’s grandson Lars Martin Stensbøl won the national class for two-wheel drive cars. Ole Gunnar Skogli won the class for the older four-wheel drive cars. Steve Røkland won among the newer two-wheel drive cars.
- Mads Østberg did not drive the NM rally, but was in Qatar, where he finished second, just 4.6 seconds from victory.
- Henning Solberg officially has a NM victory from 2019, but it was Russian Nikolaj Grjazin who won, without scoring NM points.
Published: 03.02.24 at 19:39