Juraj Šebalj and Toni Klinc declared themselves ready for the upcoming 40th edition of Croatia Rally, 10th round of the FIA European Rally Championship. It takes place in and around Poreč and Istria and reigning Croatian champions will tackle the event in Škoda Fabia S2000. This will be their second rally in an S2000 car, but according to Juraj it’s no biggie. New car = new challenge = fun. As we know, rally drivers thrive on fun.
Despite Croatia Rally will not see the likes of Craig Breen, Bryan Bouffier, Francois Delecour or Robert Kubica, there are plenty of challengers ready to race for the top step of the podium. Šebalj and Klinc are ready for a fight, knowing them, they’ll be disappointed with anything less then a podium finish.
Below is the official PR issued by crew’s promoter team.
After a productive test in his Skoda Fabia S2000 car on a tarmac stage earlier this week, JuraJ Sebalj says he’s feeling comfortable in the car with United Business livery .
“It was a good test. We made 50 km. Our team has a good set-up base and experience, so it was really a matter of just feeling my way back into tarmac with the Skoda. The car felt great, so I have no doubts that we can be on the pace from stage one,” says Sebalj.
Juraj Sebalj and his codriver Toni Klinc contested the Croatia Rally together for 14 years and and won this rally 3 times in the past.
“It’s a technical tarmac rally with a mixture of surfaces, from the cobblestone, smooth country roads, and winding roads through the hill it’s a really interesting mix. The event can also have a lot of isolated rain which makes weather information and the choice of soft or hard compound tyre critical. This was my second event in 2013 with Skoda and we finished first in Novi Vinodolski, so while I’m still relatively inexperienced with this car but I had no bigger problem in the past while changing the car or class, so this is excellent challenge for me.” Sebalj says “Obviously we want to be fighting for top spot but, that will be hard. There are lot of drivers who can be fast here. Jan Kopecky in particular, but we feel comfortable with our package, so I feel happy before our challenge.”
Sebalj and Klinc spend 24 to 25 September doing reconnaissance across the 240 competitive kilometres of 14 special stages before the official short shakedown run near the event’s hometown of Porec . The rally will begin on Thursday, September 26th with the opening ceremony in Porec and will end on Saturday September 28th in Porec at 17.30. After the finish there will be the Winner Party, where Sebalj hopes to be the guest of honor.