This is the last week to enter Croatia Rally, second round of the FIA European Rally Championship. Entries will close on May 5th at midnight.
Even if these last few days will draw the complete picture of the favourites, the situation at the end of the first phase of the entries is positive for the organizers of Croatia Rally, since they have already over 40 entries, and among these there are already more than half of the drivers who are entered in the FIA European Rally Championship.
A truly remarkable percentage, given that the actual participation in the continental series is often influenced by budgets and therefore there are those who after entering the series are forced to retire for economic reasons, or for other opportunities. Such is the case of the 2009 European champion, Giandomenico Basso, who after his registration has been hired by the works Proton team involved in another international series and who will therefore will not be in Rijeka as he also missed the Mille Miglia event, which opened the season.
There will certainly be all the major stars of the first act of the 2011 FIA European Rally Championship (Renato Travaglia, Maciej Oleksowicz, Luca Betti, Dimitar Iliev, Szymon Ruta, Maciej Rzeznik, Cyril Vosahlo, Andrea Dallavilla etc..), although to date there still lacks the official confirmation of the presence of the reigning European champion, the first leader of the 2011 series and winner of last year’s event Luca Rossetti with his Grande Punto Abarth S2000 and codriver Matteo Chiarcossi. More difficult, but not impossible, will be the debut of the Mini John Cooper Works on the Croatian roads, as between those who are considering giving up the European Championship are Corrado and Luigi Fontana, who could dispose of them. But the option remains open for Piero Longhi to be with the car in Rijeka.
A rich and qualified participation of local pilots is expected, beginning with Juraj Sebalj, several times winner of the rally over the last decade.
To learn more about Croatia Rally and on its side events centred in the pedestrian area in the centre of Rijeka, visit the website www.croatia-rally.com