Friday, 30 July 2010
Hoping to follow in the tyre-tracks of her countryman Petter Solberg, Norway's Maren Engseth was a promising rally talent. She started rallying in the early 2000s in a Volvo, like many other Scandinavian drivers. After some good finishes in class in club events, she moved up a gear for 2003 and contested the highly competitive Peugeot 206 Cup in Norway. She had raced a 206 on circuits a few times so knew a little of the car. In her debut season in a fully rally-tuned vehicle she carried off the Junior championship, for drivers under twenty-five, following some strong finishes in class on high-standard national rallies. She was fifth overall in the Peugeot standings. The 206 Cup was manufacturer-supported and Peugeot was always on the lookout for future stars, so Maren's career was already off to a good start. Her first outing on the Rally Finnskog in Norway yielded a 30th place, third in class A6.
In 2004 she drove in her second European championship event in her Peugeot 206 XS. She and Hanna Oksett were 20th in the Rally Finnskog and class runners-up. Their first rallying expedition outside Norway was to the Vierhouten Pallets Nederland Rally in Holland. They finished 40th overall out of 70, with a class position of fifth.
Maren remained with the 206 XS for the 2005 season. Her focus this year was domestic rallies in the 206 Super Cup, a rally series for ambitious young drivers. She scored a couple of good finishes and was in the top ten drivers that year. However, she suffered multiple broken bones in her foot in a crash that season, and had to sit a lot of it out. Her car was also badly damaged.
It is unclear whether Maren has competed since her accident. She certainly did not reappear for the 2006 rally season.
She is the daughter of Per Engseth, a multiple Norwegian and European rallycross champion and occasional stage rally driver.
(Image from http://www.ostlendingen.no/)