Potential shown but fire ends Landa’s Poland ERC3 Junior adventure early
Nikolai Landa was out of luck on ORLEN 77th Rally Poland – but not before he’d shown his potential in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship.
Landa was boosted by strong showing on the Qualifying Stage only for pacenote issues to mask his true pace on Saturday’s stages.
However, his hopes to make up lost time and gain more experience were dashed when his Ford Fiesta Rally4 caught fire, forcing the young Austrian to retire on stage 12 of the gravel event.
“We were really happy with our pace [on the Qualifying Stage] and showed a little bit our potential,” said Landa, who is co-driven by his father, Günter. “I noticed the pacenotes were completely off on Saturday morning, it was way too much information for stages like that. We had no trust and no confidence but we made some progress in the afternoon and the day ended pretty okay.
“Our tactic for Sunday was to learn, learn and learn and get as much kilometres as possible. Then, unfortunately, on stage 10 I noticed that something under the bonnet was smoking so we stopped the car. We continued after talking to our mechanic but then we noticed the engine bay was burning and there were flames coming out of it. We had to stop again and extinguish the fire and sadly had to retire.”