WRC Croatia Rally Kicks Off with Thrilling Shakedown Stage

The 2023 WRC Croatia Rally has begun, with Sébastien Ogier setting the fastest time in the shakedown stage. Fans eagerly await the thrilling action as experienced veterans and rising talents battle on the challenging Croatian stages.

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Rizwan Shah
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WRC Croatia Rally Kicks Off with Thrilling Shakedown Stage

WRC Croatia Rally Kicks Off with Thrilling Shakedown Stage

The 2024 WRC Croatia Rally has officially begun, with fans flocking to Zagreb to witness the exciting start of the event. The shakedown stage, which took place on Thursday, saw eight-time WRC champion Sébastien Ogier set the fastest time in his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 car. Ogier, who is returning to the championship for the first time since the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo in January, clocked a time 0.7 seconds faster than his Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans.

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak secured the third and fourth fastest times, respectively, during the shakedown stage. Ogier, who won the inaugural Croatia Rally in 2021, expressed his happiness to be back in action after a two-and-a-half-month break. The Frenchman's performance in the shakedown stage has set the tone for what promises to be an exciting rally.

M-Sport Ford's Adrien Fourmaux, who is aiming for his third consecutive WRC podium, finished fifth in the shakedown, followed closely by Hyundai's Andreas Mikkelsen and Toyota's Takamoto Katsuta. Grégoire Munster secured the eighth fastest time, while the top 10 was rounded out by Citroën's WRC2 teammates Nikolay Gryazin and Yohan Rossel, who were separated by a mere three-tenths of a second.

The Croatia Rally, now in its third year as part of the WRC calendar, has quickly become a fan favorite due to its challenging stages and picturesque setting. The event takes place on the winding roads around Zagreb, with the service park located in the heart of the city. Fans have been eagerly anticipating the return of the WRC to Croatia, and the turnout for the shakedown stage has been impressive.

Key Takeaways

  • Sébastien Ogier set the fastest time in the Croatia Rally shakedown stage.
  • Hyundai's Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak secured 3rd and 4th fastest times.
  • M-Sport Ford's Adrien Fourmaux finished 5th, aiming for his 3rd WRC podium.
  • The Croatia Rally has become a fan favorite due to its challenging stages and picturesque setting.
  • The 2023 WRC Croatia Rally promises thrilling action and intense competition.