Wednesday | 24 Mar 2021

Excitement builds for Croatia debut

After almost eight weeks away from their World Rally Cars, the fastest rally drivers on the planet can’t wait to start round three – the all-new Croatia Rally.

The Zagreb-based event will be a journey into the unknown for the front-running crews and they’re all keen to know what lies in wait on the season’s first all-asphalt encounter.

Hyundai Motorsport driver Thierry Neuville said: “I don’t know so much about the stages – I have no clue what they will look like, but we will take some time to prepare and, of course, we have the test.

“Like all new Tarmac rallies, I expect it will be very tricky. The weather can make it more tricky with the tyre choices. I’m sure it’s going to be a challenge, but it’s one I’m looking forward to.”

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Sébastien Ogier was similarly keen to get out and see the country.

“I know Croatia is a beautiful place, so I’m looking forward to seeing it,” said Toyota’s seven-time world champion. 

“We have new tyres for this year, so the adaptation for that will make it more complicated to go to a new asphalt rally, I’m sure. It was a little bit frustrating in Monte, because of the snow we were using the winter tyre a lot and didn’t get so much time to understand the slick.”

Ogier’s team-mate Kalle Rovanperä was also pleased to see Croatia coming in for the first time.

“It’s good to get some new events,” he said. 

“It’s always easier for us to manage the gap in experience when we’re on a new road with roads where everybody is making notes for the first time. I don’t know much about the event or the stages themselves, but I’m sure Croatia is going to be a very nice place.”

  • Croatia’s first ever round of the WRC runs from April 22-25.

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