by Chris Leone
Images via Subaru Motorsports USA

The names Solberg and Subaru are united once again in 2019, as Oliver Solberg—son of former Subaru World Rally Team driver and FIA World Rally Champion Petter Solberg—will join Subaru Motorsports USA for the team’s 2019 stage rally efforts.

Partnering with David Higgins and Craig Drew, who will once again run a full program in search of Higgins’ 10th United States rallying title, Solberg and co-driver Aaron Johnston will run six of the eight rounds that Subaru Motorsports USA will contest this season. The other two will go to Travis Pastrana and Robbie Durant, who have competed in a limited schedule together since earning a championship in 2017.

“I don’t think anybody could begin to understand what a big deal this is for me,” Solberg said in a Subaru release. “I was two years old when my father was World Rally Champion and remember so well how proud I was of dad wearing blue and yellow and driving a car of the same color. I even still today have the Subaru bed sheets.

“For me to have the chance to wear the same colors and drive under the same name is something unbelievable. I have to say a very big thank you to Subaru Motorsports USA for this opportunity.”

2018 was a successful season for the team in its final season under the Subaru Rally Team USA banner, before returning to Subaru’s classic WRC blue and yellow colors in an offseason rebrand. The team won all seven of its events, with Higgins and Drew taking four and Patrik Sandell and Per Almkvist going a perfect three-for-three in a limited program.

Solberg and Johnston will run at Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, Olympus Rally, Idaho Rally, New England Forest Rally, Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally, and Lake Superior Performance Rally in 2019. Pastrana and Durant will compete at Oregon Trail Rally and Ojibwe Forests Rally. Higgins and Drew will run in all eight of the aforementioned events.

The announcement sets up an intense Open 4WD battle at 100 Acre Wood next month. Aside from Subaru Motorsports USA, Open 4WD entries from Sno*Drift-winning Fetela Rally Team (Piotr Fetela/Dominik Jozwiak), McKenna Motorsport (Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan), and PMR Motorsport (Pat Moro/Ole Holter) are among those expected to fight for the podium.