Fri 10 Jun 2022

Solans grabs early Poland lead

Nil Solans seized an early advantage at Orlen 78th Rally Poland to head KOWAX Racing team-mate Tom Kristensson after Friday evening’s opening super special blast.

Thousands of passionate fans were out in force to get a glimpse of their favourite drivers as crews negotiated the short but spectacular two-by-two Mikołajki Arena test on the outskirts of the service park. 

Solans was the cream of the crop on the slippery gravel blast in his Hyundai i20 and edged Kristensson by two-tenths of a second as just 1.3sec blanketed the leading five cars. 

The Spaniard is currently on fine form and won the Qualifying Stage earlier today, despite only driving the car for the first time this week after securing a last-minute deal. He has chosen a low starting position for Saturday and will run 17th on the road.

"We feel comfortable in this car,” beamed the 30-year-old. “It’s working amazingly on the gravel surface.

“We want to enjoy ourselves, but we know this rally is quite difficult. A small mistake can have big consequences at such high speeds, so we will see.

“I want to give my thanks to everybody who is helping out - we'll try our best for everybody," he added.

The rest of the leaderboard comprised almost entirely of Fabia Rally2 Evo cars, with Romanian star Simone Tempestini leading the Škoda charge. He was a scant 0.2sec down on Kristensson and will start Saturday with just 0.5sec in hand over local favourite Miko Marczyk. 

Simone Campedelli, Javier Pardo and championship leader Efrén Llarena locked out the next three places in identical MRF-shod cars. They were followed closely by home hero Maciej Lubiak as well as Alberto Battistolli.

Championship returnee Ken Torn rounded off the leaderboard 2.3sec adrift of the leaders in his striking Ford Fiesta Rally2. 

Saturday’s route takes crews east of rally base Mikołajki for visits to Krzywe, Wojnasy and Wieliczki followed by midday service in the grounds of the giant Golebiewski Hotel. 

The morning stages are then repeated in the afternoon, with a re-run of the Mikołajki Arena test rounding out the action from 19h00 local time.

  • 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.
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Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM