So good Solans sets sights on ERC glory
Nil Solans wants to be “hard to beat” when he goes for gold in the FIA European Rally Championship.
The 29-year-old Spaniard announced his campaign during a special presentation on Thursday ahead of the 2021 ERC season getting underway on ORLEN 77th Rally Poland next week (June 18-20).
Competing under the Rallye Team Spain banner, the 2020 Spanish Gravel champion will be one to watch after leading on his ERC debut on last year’s season-deciding Rally Islas Canarias.
Solans won four stages on Gran Canaria back in November and was heading the all-asphalt rally until his hopes were hit by tyre damage. Following that strong showing, Solans revealed his desire to mount a European championship campaign, as the 2017 FIA Junior world champion explained.
“When we saw the performance with this great car, with the team, with the great Michelin tyres, we decided together with Michelin and the team and the sponsors to go to the ERC. We have been planning during all this stop time how to do it, how to manage, how to get the budget and at the end we achieved it. We are here right now trying to do our best. For podiums and victories let’s see.
“Everyone who is competing in the ERC is going for the win and we have to be one of the hard crews to beat. We will do our best in every race, preparing everything, checking the stages, checking the car, finding the best set-up so we don’t forget anything and have everything in our pocket to bring the best part from my side, the team side, from Michelin and everyone.”
While Solans begins his ERC bid light on event knowledge, he’s not troubled by the prospect of having to start with a blank pacenote book on most events he contests. “I have done Rally Islas Canarias. Rally Poland I have done but it’s quite different from what I experienced before. But Canarias last year was for me new so sometimes experience is not so important.”
Of the bulging entry list, which features 40 Rally2 cars, Solans said: “It’s not so important how many Rally2 cars there is, the most important is the high level of drivers like [Alexey] Lukyanuk are there. They put down the pace and if we want to do a good result, we have to be on the pace of guys like him.”
Wise guide on board as Solans prepares for first ERC campaign
The vastly experienced Marc Martí – a winner of three FIA World Rally Championship events – will co-drive Nil Solans in a Calm Competició-run Škoda Fabia Rally2. Martí has worked with Solans several times in the past but hasn’t rallied at ERC level since 2000 when he partnered Jesús Puras.