WRC to tackle six asphalt surfaces in ‘unique’ Rally Croatia
Little is known about the Zagreb-based meeting, which is a new addition to this season’s 12-round WRC calendar.
However, Daniel Saskin, the president of the organizing committee, promised that it would be “a big challenge”.
This is the first pure asphalt WRC event since Rally Germany in 2019, and it is also the first time that Pirelli’s hard rubber and fully wet rubber will be deployed.
Friday and Saturday will both consist of eight special stages, with Sunday’s stage consisting of four timed tests, including the bonus point Power Stage. Over the three days, the teams will face some 300 km.
“WRC crews can expect a mix of fast tracks and very technical tracks with lots 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 tires and also for the crews when it comes to finding the right settings for their cars.
“The rally will be unlike any other event in the World Rally Championship; it has parts like Corsica, some like Germany and others like Rally Monza – but taken as a whole it’s totally unique.
“On these roads, where there are stretches of white asphalt, the grip is constantly changing. For these reasons, I’m sure Pirelli is going to have a big challenge with their tires, especially since this will be the first for their new compounds on asphalt.
“We are convinced that it will be a difficult rally and a difficult rally. Therefore, the result may be unexpected. It will not be easy at all, ”he added.
Dani Sordo, Carlos Del Barrio, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC
Photo by: Fabien Dufour / Hyundai Motorsport
With the help of his staff behind the scenes, Saskin continues to work to enable fans to attend.
If successful, it will be the first time since Rally Estonia in September that spectators will be officially allowed to attend a WRC event.
“As long as they keep their distance and maybe wear masks, I don’t think there is a problem for spectators to come,” he said.
“We have a special COVID program that we have to stick to, we don’t want people to get 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 drop again and with the temperatures rising we are convinced that the situation will be, OK not normal, but normal enough to have spectators.