Tue 07 Jun 2022

Solans secures late Poland drive

FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) frontrunner Nil Solans has managed to pull off a last-minute deal to contest Orlen 78th Rally Poland this week (11 - 12 June).

Solans initially entered the event with the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 which carried him to victories at the season opener in Fafe as well as Rally Islas Canarias.

The cash-strapped driver then faced financial issues in the run-up to the event, which meant that his chances of starting were looking very slim. 

He has since been working around the clock to pull a deal together and finally confirmed today (Tuesday) that he will be on the start line in Mikołajki with a Hyundai-supported i20 N Rally2, prepared by Polish team KOWAX Racing.

“It’s been a crazy few days,” admitted Solans, who trails championship leader Efrén Llarena by just five points. 

“The problem for me is that I know I can’t use all the money from my bank and in my pocket because I am a normal guy. I know I can use it for Poland, but after that, I have no chance to go to the next four events. 

“So what I know for sure is that, without any support to go and do all of the season, it’s not possible for me to continue. I have been working until the last moment, until we found the support of Hyundai to be here, so that’s why we are continuing. 

“For the moment, we have also agreed a deal for Rally Liepāja with this team. We are so happy to be competing again and to have the opportunity to fight for the championship instead of just leaving,” he added. 

The odds will certainly be stacked against Solans at the fourth round. While the i20 N Rally2 isn’t completely alien to the Spaniard, he hasn’t driven one since Rally Hungary’s Qualifying Stage last year

“At that time, we didn’t manage to start the rally because of an electrical problem,” he recalls. “I just made a few kilometres, but okay, the car is new for me and I have never competed in it. 

“Poland, for me, is one of the best rallies of the season because it’s so fast and flowing. I know we can do well, we just need to see how we adapt to the car and be happy. It’s a lot of new things in a really tight time, but we’ll give it our best.”

  • Full coverage from Rally Poland is available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM