WRC to tackle six asphalt surfaces at "unique" Rally Croatia

World Rally Championship crews will encounter as many as six surface changes on their first visit to Rally Croatia next month.

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Little is known about the Zagreb-based meeting, which is a new addition to this season’s WRC 12 round calendar.

However, Daniel Saskin, the President of the organising committee, has promised that it will be “a big challenge”.

It is the first pure asphalt WRC event since Rally Germany back in 2019, and is also the first time Pirelli’s hard compound tyre and full-wet rubber will be rolled out.

Friday and Saturday will both consist of eight special stages, with Sunday’s leg made up of four timed tests, including the bonus points Power Stage. Across the three days, teams will tackle some 300km.

“The WRC crews can expect a mix of fast tracks and very technical tracks with a lot of corners,” Saskin told Autosport.

“There will be up to six different types of asphalt surfaces, so it will be a big challenge.

“It will be a challenge for the tyres and also the crews when it comes to finding the right set-up for their cars.

“The rally is going to be unlike any other World Rally Championship event; it has some parts like Corsica, some like Germany and some like Rally Monza – but taken altogether it is totally unique.

“On these roads, where there are some sections of white asphalt, the grip is constantly changing. For those reasons I am sure Pirelli is going to have a big challenge with its tyres, especially as this will be the premiere for its new compounds on asphalt.

“We are very confident that this will be a tricky rally and a challenging rally. Therefore, the result might be unexpected. It will not be easy at all,” he added.

Dani Sordo, Carlos Del Barrio, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Dani Sordo, Carlos Del Barrio, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Photo by: Fabien Dufour / Hyundai Motorsport

With the help of his backroom staff, Saskin continues to work towards allowing fans to attend.

If they succeed, it will be the first-time since September’s Rally Estonia that spectators have officially been allowed to spectate a WRC round.

“As long as they keep their distance, and maybe wear masks, I don’t think there should be a problem for spectators to come,” he said.

“We have a special COVID programme that we have to stick to, we don’t want people falling sick.

“We have to be careful about this, but some spectators will be allowed.

“In a week or two we are confident [COVID case numbers] will start to fall down again and with temperatures rising we are confident the situation will be, OK not normal, but enough normal to have spectators.”

shares
comments

Related video

"No clear position" over how WRC cars should be powered beyond 2024

Former rally driver Mohammed ben Sulayem launches FIA president bid

How the WRC saw a different side to Rovanpera in his latest Acropolis triumph

How the WRC saw a different side to Rovanpera in his latest Acropolis triumph

Plus
Plus
WRC
Rally Greece
Tom Howard

How the WRC saw a different side to Rovanpera in his latest Acropolis triumph How the WRC saw a different side to Rovanpera in his latest Acropolis triumph

How iconic cars from each WRC era compare at the hands of Petter Solberg

How iconic cars from each WRC era compare at the hands of Petter Solberg

Plus
Plus
WRC
Tom Howard

How iconic cars from each WRC era compare at the hands of Petter Solberg How iconic cars from each WRC era compare at the hands of Petter Solberg

How the WRC title race was ignited by Evans in Finland

How the WRC title race was ignited by Evans in Finland

Plus
Plus
WRC
Rally Finland
Tom Howard

How the WRC title race was ignited by Evans in Finland How the WRC title race was ignited by Evans in Finland

How Rovanpera reached a Loeb-like level in Estonia WRC domination

How Rovanpera reached a Loeb-like level in Estonia WRC domination

Plus
Plus
WRC
Rally Estonia
Tom Howard

How Rovanpera reached a Loeb-like level in Estonia WRC domination How Rovanpera reached a Loeb-like level in Estonia WRC domination

How Ogier held his nerve to repeat Toyota's Safari WRC rout

How Ogier held his nerve to repeat Toyota's Safari WRC rout

Plus
Plus
WRC
Rally Kenya
Tom Howard

How Ogier held his nerve to repeat Toyota's Safari WRC rout How Ogier held his nerve to repeat Toyota's Safari WRC rout

The Neuville splash and grab that ends Hyundai’s WRC win drought

The Neuville splash and grab that ends Hyundai’s WRC win drought

Plus
Plus
WRC
Rally Italy
Tom Howard

The Neuville splash and grab that ends Hyundai’s WRC win drought The Neuville splash and grab that ends Hyundai’s WRC win drought

How Rovanpera fired the WRC a timely reminder of his class in Portugal

How Rovanpera fired the WRC a timely reminder of his class in Portugal

Plus
Plus
WRC
Rally Portugal
Tom Howard

How Rovanpera fired the WRC a timely reminder of his class in Portugal How Rovanpera fired the WRC a timely reminder of his class in Portugal

How Evans ended his WRC drought in sombre Croatia breakthrough

How Evans ended his WRC drought in sombre Croatia breakthrough

Plus
Plus
WRC
Rally Croatia
Tom Howard

How Evans ended his WRC drought in sombre Croatia breakthrough How Evans ended his WRC drought in sombre Croatia breakthrough

Subscribe