The Spaniard was well on his way to taking the lead in the Championship as he led local hero – and eventual winner – Miko Marczyk early on opening day.
However, he and co-driver Marc Martí retired on stage seven when a defective steering forced their Hyundai i20 N Rally2 off the road and forced it to be retired.
It was the duo’s first rally with the car and with Polish team KOWAX Racing, having secured a last-minute deal to start the event earlier in the week.
“It was in a right hand corner on a crest that was getting tighter and I was just trying to slow down and make it very easy and safe,” explained Solans. “Even though I was driving slowly, I hit a hole or something and the damper broke.
“I went on for less than a kilometer because I knew something was wrong with the steering and eventually we broke the steering arm as well. We went off the road but we were lucky it was in a spot where there weren’t any big trees so the car is in one piece.
“It’s okay. We’re happy with the car – we built up speed very quickly and we were really happy with everything. It was nice for us because the team worked really well and the car was well prepared.
“It was actually a good weekend for us,” he added. “At least until we had the problem with the damper, it was quite nice.”
Solans is still second in the championship but is now 24 points behind leader Efrén Llarena, who was fourth on lap four.
Orlen 78. Highlights of Rally Poland
He believes the championship battle remains very open and confirmed plans to drive the Hyundai again next month (July 2-3) in the Liepāja Rally.
“We know that we can fight for victory in the championship. It’s still not over,” he said.
“We have performed well in the last two rallies and here we did the same until the problem arose. Now we will try to continue in Latvia – the speed is similar there, but the surface is very different.
“I would like to congratulate Miko Marczyk because he did a very, very good job. He was very fast and also very consistent, so he deserved this win.”