zagreb_wrc_rally
Photo Credit: Meet In Zagreb

This year, Croatia will be among the countries to host one of the most attractive competitions in the world! WRC Croatia Rally, as part of the WRC rallying series, will take place from 22 to 25 April with Zagreb as its central location.

The World Rally Championship is an elite car racing event, bringing the synergy of high tech and top driving skill. It is a dramatic race where every tenth of a second counts, which demands maximum concentration and precision from racers. The uncompromising competition combines the speed, technology and reliability of the world’s leading car manufacturers with well-oiled teams. The teams are spearheaded by top global race drivers, who are in turn assisted by the cool heads and calm voices of the world’s most capable co-drivers. WRC is a global challenge characterized by courage, passion, endurance and the ability to constantly adapt to ever-present changes in the environment and driving conditions. In 2021, the championship will unfold through 12 races around the world, and, in addition to Monte Carlo, Finland, Portugal, Italy, Kenya, Estonia, Belgium, Chile, Spain and Japan, one of the events will be held in Croatia for the first time ever.

Croatia Rally is the oldest, most difficult and most popular car race in Croatia, with a history that dates back to 1974, when it was first held under the name INA Delta TLX Rally. Over the years, it has developed and taken place in multiple locations in Croatia, growing from a local to regional, and ultimately international event. Following last year’s confirmation that Croatia Rally would be included in the WRC calendar, the details about this year’s Croatian race have been revealed, including the demanding speed tests that will be a real challenge for top WRC drivers. From 22 to 25 April, on local roads in Zagreb, Karlovac and Krapina-Zagorje Counties, one of the most attractive sports events today is set to take place with live streaming on WRC website.

zagreb_wrc_rally
Photo Credit: Meet In Zagreb

Zagreb Fair – logistics hub, but also part of an attractive race track

About 80 teams totalling 1450 people are expected to participate, and the teams and mechanics will take care of their vehicles on Zagreb Fair premises. Trial runs will begin two days before the competition itself, on Tuesday, 20 April. Day one and the initial speed test promise to be particularly attractive. The drivers and cars will be presented at the National and University Library in Zagreb, where the race start ceremony will take place as well. After that, racing will take place at the Zagreb Fair, while part of the track will for the first time in the WRC history be indoors, inside a pavilion.

On 23 April, the crews will start racing in the Samoborsko Gorje area, followed by speed tests in the Karlovac wider area. One day later, speed tests will also unfold in the areas of Samoborsko Gorje and Karlovac, while 25 April is reserved for the Hrvatsko zagorje region and its villages, as well as tracks on Medvednica mountain.

“We made a careful selection of tracks to avoid crowding, but also to enable spectators to come and enjoy attractive races. We are hoping that the epidemiological situation will allow for this. Also, WRC is a great opportunity for us to show the most beautiful parts of our country to the world, and we have no doubts that the competition will be exciting – both on-site and through live broadcast,” said Daniel Šaškin, the president of the Croatia Rally 2021 Organization Committee.

“Alongside the enormous international promotion, imagine the economic effect that tens of thousands of overnight stays, local spending by participants and the hiring of thousands of people required for the organization will have. We are hoping that the situation in late April will allow spectators to be present, which would mean the arrival of many WRC fans from all over the world. This is the best possible invitation before this year’s tourism season,” said Davorin Štetner, the President of the Croatian Car and Karting Federation and the WRC Croatia Management Board.

Zagreb as a sports and tourism capital

The project holder is the Croatian Car and Karting Federation, the organizers are the racing clubs D.T. Motorsport from Poreč and Cro Dakar Team. The arrival of the World Rally Championship in Croatia is great news for all car racing enthusiasts across the region. In addition, this world-class sports event draws in millions of spectators and fans from around the globe, giving the opportunity to show Zagreb and Croatia as an exciting tourism and sports destination. In 2019, the WRC was followed by more than 830 million viewers, and in recent years it has recorded a major surge in popularity. After the four-day competition ends, the best and fastest teams will be presented in Zagreb’s historic St. Mark Square.