Nil Solans fastest in qualifying stage of Rally Poland 2022
Nil Solans’ bid for a hat-trick of ERC victories is off to a strong start as the Spaniard went fastest at Orlen 78th Rally Poland’s Qualifying Stage on Friday afternoon.
Solans, debuting a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 with Polish team KOWAX Racing, laid down the gauntlet on the superfast 3.46km Baranowo warm-up test to stop the clock 1.825sec faster than his closest challenger as under four seconds blanketed the top ten.
The 30-year-old is lucky to even be starting the championship’s fourth round, with financial struggles in the run-up to the rally resulting in a late change from his usual Volkswagen Polo earlier this week.
He drove the Hyundai at a pre-event test on Wednesday, although tonight’s opener will be the first time he uses it on a competitive stage.
FIA World Rally Championship regular Miko Marczyk signalled his return to the ERC by setting the second-best time in his Škoda Fabia Rally2. Marczyk finished third here last year and starts the rally as home favourite.
Local driver Adrian Chwietczuk completed the leading trio in another Škoda. He was followed Team MRF Tyres driver Norbert Herczig’s similar car, with Ford Fiesta Rally2 man Ken Torn only 0.023sec further back in fifth.
Tom Kristensson brought his i20 R5 home 1.749sec down on Hyundai team-mate Solans, closely followed by Romanian rocket Simone Tempestini in another Škoda.
Championship leader Efrén Llarena was eighth in another MRF-shod Fabia, while Alberto Battistolli and Grzegorz Grzyb completed the leaderboard, Both were driving Škoda cars.
The rally begins later this evening with a super special stage based on the outskirts of the service park.