ZAGREB, 23 April (Hina) – The ceremonial start of the FIA World Rally Championship, the largest and most important automobile competition ever held in Croatia, took place in Zagreb on Thursday against the spectacular backdrop of the National and University Library and Zagreb’s fountains and with adherence to epidemiological rules.
We had a long way ahead of us, but here were are. We succeeded despite many difficulties, said Daniel Šaškin, president of WRC Croatia Rally organising committee.
The competition of the best rally drivers in the world, who will in three days cover 300 km in 20 speed tests on the local roads of Zagreb, Karlovac and Krapina-Zagorje counties and the City of Zagreb, is the culmination of 115 years of motoring in Croatia.
According to tradition, the start of each car on the start ramp was ceremoniously marked by raising the national flag.
Among the first to appear at the start ramp were six Croatian crews that will compete in this rally.
We are excited to be here, a big challenge is ahead of us with many tests. All the ingredients for a good show and an interesting race are here. We expect demanding conditions on Friday morning, due to possible rain. But we have come to fight for victory, said the current and seven-time world champion French Sebastien Ogier.
I feel very good and it’s nice to be behind the wheel again. New rallies are always interesting and intriguing. I have mixed feelings but it’ll be another good weekend for learning, said 20-year-old Finnish driver Kalle Rovanpera.
Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac, who was the prime minister’s envoy, and acting Zagreb Mayor Jelena Pavičić Vukičević addressed the competitors.
Croatia Rally will start on Friday morning, at 8.39, in Rude near Samobor, and the first speed test, 6.96 kilometres long, will take drivers along the slopes of the Samobor hills to Plešivica. Four speed test are scheduled for the morning part of the programme and another four will take place in the afternoon, when drivers will pass the same roads for the second time. In the first day of the rally, drivers will pass a total of 99.82 kilometres in eight speed tests.
Live broadcast in 150 countries worldwide
Croatia Rally is the biggest sporting event in Croatia this year. 1,200 participants of the competition, drivers, and support staff, have arrived in Zagreb under strict epidemiological standards. The event will be watched online or live by about 1,500 journalists and camera crews.
More than 200 foreign journalists and cameramen have arrived in Croatia, the largest number of world media present at a sports event in Croatia. WRC will be broadcast live from Croatia in more than 150 countries around the world. This sports spectacle is also available to viewers in Croatia on domestic TV channels: the program of the Croatian Radio and Television and Arena Sport, and through the WRC + service.
Live broadcast of all stages can be viewed at https://www.wrc.com/en/news/2021/wrcplus/live-stream-schedule-croatia-rally/. You can follow all information and news on the official website rally-croatia.com and official social network channels on Facebook Croatia Rally, Instagram Croatia Rally, Twitter – Croatia Rally and YouTube channel – Croatia Rally.