Did you know that Picasso’s son Claude Picasso likes rally driving, and that this is one of his hobbies? We didn’t know it either, until Kristian Sohlberg told us that he had been giving rally lessons to Claude Picasso. Kristian Sohlberg is a perfect addition to Slowball 2017 family. He appreciates art and definitely knows how to drive a car.
Kristian Sohlberg is a successful Finnish rally driver who, this year, will steer the wheel of a Slowball car. He has been around fast cars in perfect condition for a while now, so the guy must need a little break. His chance to take it slow will arrive on August 2nd when the 5-day Slowball road trip begins once again.
We sat down with him and had a quick chat about rally, art, crappy cars and Guts LINK – just to get to know him a little better. Know the guy who will be steering your wheel!
Kristian has never been into academic studies – he never went to the university. After high school, he went to the Finnish army’s special forces one year earlier than normally required. After the army, he entered the exciting world of rally driving. His very first rally was in January, 1997. At first, rallying was his hobby. In year 2002, it became his profession.
During 2003-2005, Kristian was in Mitsubishi World Rally team. After that, he was driving for several private teams, and in 2009, worked for Tommi Mäkinen Racing in Finland.
Then, in 2011, he started his own rally school. That is now his main job. He is coaching young talented drivers and older gentleman hobby drivers. His main driver is now in WRC-2.
Kristian would still like to race but coaching takes up all of his time; it is also taking him around the world each year, the season starting in January and ending in November. However, since there is no upper age limit in rallying, he might still race again one day. The fact that, with his busy schedule, he manages to find the time to participate in Slowball road trip, makes him even more special for us.
He likes art; loves when things are nice to the eye. He is interested in some modern art but likes visiting museums for some old nice paintings as well. Painting is in his family – his mother’s older brothers were painters. Kristian has never painted because, according to him, he would be absolutely useless in it.
Picasso is his favorite artist. Even more interesting is the fact that he has been personally coaching Claude Picasso, a son of Picasso who is looking after Picasso’s estate, and is apparently loving rally driving too.
Kristian was laughing when asked about old crappy cars. He thinks that it will be interesting to do Slowball event. He is hoping that his car won’t break down on the road. His opinion about old crappy cars is that when these cars work, they are very nice. And that it is interesting because one needs to look after them to keep them in good condition. Slowball mechanics would definitely agree with the last statement – these guys are geniuses, spending most of their fee time fixing their Slowball “babies”.
Kristian thinks that the whole Slowball thing is very interesting. He heard about Sowball from Franke the founder, who promised that this would be an interesting adventure. So now Kristian believes that it would be very cool to Slowball from Estonia to Finland and Sweden, obviously infected by Franke’s passion for Slowball. Moreover, Kristian believes that Slowball cars will look absolutely beautiful. For him, this trip will be about relaxing and fun times. He is hoping to find new good friends from amongst Slowball family.
Kristian also plays poker. He used to play a lot and that is how he met Guts LINK guys, in poker circles. The guys realized who he was, offering to help him with a rallycross project. After that, they have been doing the trips to Formula 1 events together.
Kristian says that it is very nice to work with Guts and to be able to go to these events. Guts guys have become good friends of his.
On the side, he is also doing a little bit of analyzing of Formula 1 drivers, by giving his implications of drivers who are hot at the moment – likely to do well in the race. So far, his analysis has been rather accurate, about 7/10.