Tuesday | 14 Jun 2022

Solans upbeat despite Poland disappointment

Nil Solans is taking away plenty of positives from last week’s Orlen 78th Rally Poland - despite failing to score any points.

The Spaniard was on course to move into the lead of the championship as he headed local hero - and eventual winner - Miko Marczyk early on the opening day. 

However, he and co-driver Marc Martí came unstuck on the seventh stage when broken steering forced their Hyundai i20 N Rally2 off the road and into retirement.

It was the duo’s first rally with the car and with Polish-based team KOWAX Racing, having secured a last-minute deal to start the event earlier in the week.   

“It was on a right corner on a crest that was tightening, and I just tried to slow down and drive it very easily and safe,” explained Solans. “Even though I was going slowly, I hit a hole or something like that and it broke the damper. 

Solans was happy with new team KOWAX Racing

“I continued for less than a kilometre, knowing something was wrong with the steering, and finally we broke the steering arm as well. We went off the road, but we were lucky it was in a place where there wasn’t any big trees, so the car is in one piece.  

“It’s okay. We are happy with the car - we built the speed really fast and we were really comfortable with everything. It was nice for us because the team was working really good and the car was well-prepared. 

“It was actually a good weekend for us,” he added. “At least, until we had the problem on the damper, it was quite nice.”

Solans still holds second in the championship, but is now 24-points adrift of leader Efrén Llarena, who finished fourth at round four. 

Orlen 78th Rally Poland Highlights

He believes the championship fight remains very much wide open, and confirmed plans to drive the Hyundai again at Rally Liepāja next month (2 - 3 July).

“We know that, in the championship, we can fight for the win. It’s still not over,” he insisted. 

“We have shown good performances in the previous two rallies and here we were doing the same thing until the problem happened. Now we will try to continue in Latvia - the speed is similar there, but the surface is quite different.

“I want to say congratulations to Miko Marczyk because he did a very, very good job. He was really fast and really consistent as well, so he deserved this victory.”