Petter and Oliver Solberg starred at this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, with the father and son proving a huge hit with motorsport fans from around the world.
After stealing the hearts of Festival goers, the Solbergs then dominated the podium at the Shootout Final, with Petter second and Oliver third behind Romain Dumas in Volkswagen Motorsport’s cutting-edge, all-electric ID R.
The Solbergs were the only drivers to feature in the three main areas of the world’s biggest motorsport festival, with both competing on the main hillclimb, the forest rally stage and in the new-for-2019 drift arena.
They impressed across the board to universal appreciation.
The Festival of Speed is part of Petter’s Farewell Tour for this year and, while the emphasis is on having fun and saying thank you to a global fan base that has supported him for the last 20 years, the Norwegian superstar is still ultra-competitive at heart.
And that competitive streak carried him close to a win in the final shootout.
Petter drove his own Subaru Impreza WRC 02 – the car he used to win his first ever World Rally Championship event at the 2002 Wales Rally GB – during the Festival, but all eyes were on the Volkswagen Polo R Supercar come Sunday afternoon.
“What a fantastic event,” said Petter. “I knew I was going to have a good time here, I remember that from my last visit in 2008, but this was just incredible! Unbelievable.
“It started good and just got better and better. We had the sunshine, the sport, the fans and such a good time. And then the competition. I didn’t think so much to the Shootout, but then the [first] time was good up the hill, I was second fastest to Dumas. You know me, then it got a bit more serious!
“We were fastest when it rained on Sunday morning and I hoped it would rain more, then we would have the chance – but when it was drying it was always going to be really tough against the ID R. Second is the perfect end to this event. OK, almost, the perfect end. But really, we have the one-two-three – we are part of Volkswagen Motorsport family. Congratulations to Dumas and all the guys in the team and I am so proud of Oliver. He drove fantastic. To have my boy with me on the podium is so emotional, so special.”
Oliver’s third place came aboard the DS 3 Supercar he used to win last year’s RallyX Nordic title. He also thrilled fans in the Subaru Motorsports USA WRX STI he used to win the Olympus Rally earlier this season.
“The last time I came here I was six,” Oliver said. “I don’t remember it so well, but this time I’m never going to forget it. To drive in the same place with people like Hannu Mikkola, Tom Kristensen, Mikka Häkkinen and, of course, my father is such a special feeling.
“The Shootout was amazing. I made a bit of a mess of the first corner and got some understeer, but after that I gave it everything!
“I heard so much good stuff about Goodwood and to come here and see for myself that it’s absolutely true is so amazing. But actually, you know, it’s even better than people said! Can I come back next year?”
The best answer to that came from Goodwood’s on-track commentary team.
“Oliver Solberg, the star of the show: will you come back next year?”