Saturday | 17 Apr 2021

Adamo warns against drivers ‘stressing’ about Croatia conditions

Hyundai Motorsport team principal Andrea Adamo says he doesn’t want his drivers to be fixated by the start order for next week’s Croatia Rally (22 - 25 April).

The Zagreb-based event is the season’s first all-asphalt fixture. With spring conditions in Croatia likely to include some rain, the perceived wisdom is that the higher up the order a driver starts, the better the conditions will be.

For asphalt rallies, the running order benefits are reversed from gravel events. The first cars in the stage dirty the road, making conditions harder for those behind, rather than sweeping it clean.

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s championship leader Kalle Rovanperä will be first through the opening day, with top Hyundai i20 runner Thierry Neuville second on the road. The Belgian’s team-mates, Ott Tänak and Craig Breen, will start further down in fifth and sixth.

Despite two of his crews starting behind the three factory Yaris cars of Rovanperä, Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans, Adamo is relaxed about the situation.


WATCH: Croatia Rally Preview Magazine

WATCH: Croatia Rally Preview ...

Debut WRC appearance for Croatia. A tantalising mix of asphalt, with some surfaces worn and bumpy due to weather and water damage ...

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"We face what we have and we take the best out of it,” said Adamo. “There’s no point to stress about these things at all.

“In Sanremo [last weekend] we have had good [seat] time for all of the crews and I’m happy for this. It was a good preparation for Croatia with the drivers able to test all three of the Pirelli tyres in conditions which were changing.”

Tänak’s win and third for Neuville in the previous round at Arctic Rally Finland enabled Hyundai to close the gap on early pacesetters Toyota to 11 points in the manufacturers’ standings. Adamo is keen to maintain that progress.

“Arctic Rally Finland marked a return to the form we expect from ourselves as a team. Now we have to carry that momentum forward to Croatia and beyond,” he added.

“It is vital we perform consistently strong on all surfaces this year in order for us to defend our title once again, so we have to acclimatise quickly to these unknown stages and be on the pace from the start.” 

  • Full coverage from the Croatia Rally will be 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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