WRC Croatia: Stage 9 cancelled after fiery Solberg crash

The Hyundai driver went off the road 3.9km into the opening stage [Petruš Vrh, 23.76km] of Saturday’s leg at the asphalt event, losing the rear of the car at high speed.

Hyundai has confirmed that both Solberg and co-driver Elliott Edmondson are okay. The pair had begun the day sitting in fifth position.

Images circulating on social media have revealed Solberg’s i20 N has since caught fire after coming to rest against a grass bank.

Organisers initially halted the stage after Solberg’s accident with only Elfyn Evans, Esapekka Lappi, Thierry Neuville, Pierre-Louis Loubet, Takamoto Katsuta and Gus Greensmith having completed the test.

A call was then made to cancel the stage entirely resulting in the start of Stage 10 being delayed by 40 minutes.

The stage was held in dry conditions although the road featured patches of damp and wet sections. Solberg had opted to take a mix of wet and slick tyres for the morning loop. 

Solberg’s exit has elevated Evans into fifth ahead of teammate Takamoto Katsuta in sixth. 

Hyundai deputy team director Julien Moncet has since confirmed that he has spoken to Solberg and Edmondson.

He revealed that the fire was caused by the exhaust and that the incident has also triggered the red light on the hybrid kit. It is unclear if the car will rejoin the event on Sunday. 

“The most important thing is that Oliver and Elliott are fine. We got in touch with them and they okay,” said Moncet.  

“We don’t have the full story yet but from what we know Oliver spun and he damaged the rear of the car, and something caught fire on the exhaust.

“We will have to see the car first [to see if it can be repaired] and I think what is important as well is that it is not electronic related, nothing with the hybrid, but we triggered the red light due to the fire, but we will have to see the car.” 

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