The 25-year-old, who is currently racking up one rally victory after another for ŠKODA in his Fabia R5, hails from Charlottenberg in the Swedish province of Värmland, roughly 100 kilometres from the Norwegian capital of Oslo. But these days he is seldom found in his home town. “I was on the road for exactly 246 days last year,” he calculates with a satisfied smile. These days Pontus Tidemand‘s whole life seems like one extended overtaking manoeuvre.
Hardly surprising, really, with a motor racing pedigree like his. Pontus Tidemand‘s father, Thomas Tidemand, himself a well-known rally and rallycross driver in Sweden, provided young Pontus with a small, motorised four-wheeler; he began zipping around the family’s land at the tender age of five. And Tidemand’s mother Maud is now married to the five-time Norwegian rally champion Henning Solberg. Last but not least, his younger half-brother Oscar Solberg is now embarking on a rally career of his own.
In Obertauern, the Swede – who, at 188 centimetres, is rather tall for a rally driver – with blond hair, cool blue eyes and a firm handshake is, for a change, not here for a rally. Instead he will play the leading role in a four-minute video touting the merits of the new 4x4 models of the Octavia, Yeti and Superb. It will highlight the advantages those all-wheel-drive models offer on snow and ice. After all, all-wheel drive is the ideal solution for slippery surfaces – and who better to demonstrate that than Pontus Tidemand?