Croatia: Skoda crew wants victory in RC and WRC2 / WRC

Croatia: Skoda crew wants victory in RC and WRC2 / WRC

Spain’s Pepe López/David Vázquez and Finnish duo Lauri Joona/Janni Hussi lead the Skoda teams with a chance of WRC2 victory at the fourth round of the FIA ​​World Rally Championship (WRC) in Croatia.

Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson, the recent WRC2 winners of the Kenyan Safari Rally in the Skoda Fabia RS Rally2, did not register for the drivers’ championship in their first asphalt race of the season. As planned, Rally Croatia is not part of the WRC2 program of current WRC2 championship leader Oliver Solberg and co-driver Elliott Edmondson (Skoda Fabia RS Rally2).

After the Alpine cold of the Monte Carlo Rally, the snow-covered slopes of the Swedish Rally and the rough gravel of the Kenya Safari Rally, the FIA ​​World Rally Championship (WRC) takes to the tarmac next weekend (April 18 to 21 , 2024). WRC2 championship leaders Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson (S/GB) and their teammates in the Skoda Motorsport-backed Toksport WRT team and third overall, Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson (GB/S), are not competing at the Worlds. Championship in the fourth round of the season Counter in the standings of the drivers. However, other Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 crews are entitled to points.

All crews in the WRC2 championship are allowed to register for championship points in the drivers’ standings at a maximum of seven of the 13 rounds of the season. So the list of WRC2 points collectors varies from event to event. The current WRC2 table leaders and WRC2 category winners at Rally Sweden, Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson (SWE/UK), have decided not to participate in the upcoming Rally Croatia.

The second car crew of the Skoda Motorsport-backed Toksport WRT team, Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson, travels to Croatia. However, the WRC2 winners at the recent Kenya Safari Rally have not laid claim to next weekend’s World Drivers’ Championship points. Like all the other pairs competing in the RC2 classification, they are still aiming for a class win and can collect Toksport WRT World Cup points in the team classification. The Eifel-based team are currently tied for the lead in the table with two rivals.

The strategic season arrangement of the Czech brand’s current two stalwarts opens up great opportunities for the rest of the Skoda crew signed up for WRC2 next weekend. In the inner circle of favorites for the race victory: the Spanish duo Pepe López and David Vázquez with their Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 entered by Mapo Motorsport. They already showed their asphalt qualities with a second place in the WRC2 category at this year’s Monte Carlo Rally. “The asphalt roads in Croatia offer the same challenges as those of the “Monte”. “My Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 is the right car to fight for victory in Croatia,” López is convinced. After his only points result so far in the season opener in the Alps, he is currently fifth in the WRC2 overall standings and is the runner-up in the WRC2 Challenger.

The Finnish duo Lauri Joona/Janni Hussi, usually more at home on gravel tracks, would like to gain experience on asphalt in the Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 of the TGS World team across Croatia. Experienced Norwegian duo Eyvind Brynildsen/Jørn Listerud can also be expected on the Adriatic, returning to the WRC2 category behind the wheel of the Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 entered by Toksport WRT.

In the WRC Masters Cup, which is open to drivers aged 50 and over, the next edition of the eternal youth battle is approaching: Italian Mauro Miele/Luca Beltrame in the Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 from DreamOne Racing challenge Armin Kremer and his daughter. Ella in Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 from Baumschlager Rally & Racing out. The German duo won the WRC2 Masters Cup in Croatia last year. A total of 14 crews have registered for the Croatia Rally with the RC2 version of the Skoda Fabia.

Rally Croatia begins with a start ceremony in the capital Zagreb on Thursday, April 18 at 6:30 pm On Friday there are eight special stages (WP) covering a total of 119.74 kilometers on the program, followed by a further 116.60 kilometers in eight special stages on the day of Saturday. On Sunday the crew will fight against the clock four times. In total, the 20 special stages cover 283.28 timed kilometers.

Did you know that?

… Croatian rally racing was first held in 1974 in the former Yugoslavia as the INA Delta TLX Race?
… In 2017, four years before Rally Croatia was promoted to the World Championship Round, the Hungarian pair of David Botka/Mark Mesterhazi took overall victory in the Skoda Fabia Rally2?
… the Croatian rally takes place on a combination of fast and winding asphalt roads that have different road conditions – from rough and hard to wear to flat and slippery?
… the special stage ‘Stojdraga-Gornja Vas’ on Sunday, April 20 will be run over 20 kilometers through the beautiful Žumberak National Park? The so-called ‘WP of 1000 curves’ needs a very precise explanation.