› After winning WRC2 at Rally Mexico first time out with the new Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, Gus Greensmith (GBR) aims for another category victory at the FIA World Rally Championship’s fourth round
› Defending WRC2 champion Emil Lindholm from Finland (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) also chases top spot of the WRC2 overall standings at the season’s first pure tarmac rally
› For strategic reasons, WRC2 overall leader and Toksport WRT teammate Oliver Solberg from Sweden (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) is not nominated to score WRC2 points in Croatia
› Both driving a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, youngsters Erik Cais (CZE) and Sami Pajari (FIN) are spicing up the fight for WRC2 victory

Mladá Boleslav, 19 April 2023 – Expectations are high for Gus Greensmith (GBR) and co-driver Jonas Andersson (SWE) for Rally Croatia (20-23 April 2023), fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Sharing a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 for the very first time, the British-Swedish duo won the WRC2 category on the gravel stages of Rally Mexico.

Rally Croatia was first held in 2021 as a round of the FIA World Rally Championship and has been a major challenge for the participants ever since: Constantly changing grip conditions and a wide variety of road surfaces make the asphalt stages unpredictable, especially in the rain. The winding roads also offer numerous crests and jumps. “During Rally Mexico, I could already feel: The Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 and me – it just fits! And since I know after the test drives how good the Fabia is on asphalt as well, I can hardly wait to get the demanding special stages of Croatia under the wheels,” Gus Greensmith expresses his anticipation.

One of his toughest opponents will be Toksport WRT teammate Emil Lindholm (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2). The asphalt tracks in Croatia have always been a good place for the defending WRC2 champion. In 2021, he finished second in the WRC3 classification. Last year Lindholm and co-driver Reeta Hämäläinen won the WRC2 Junior classification and finished third in the WRC2 overall standings. “After my second place on the gravel stages of Mexico, I now want to achieve a top result on asphalt as well,” says Lindholm, currently placed third in the WRC2 standings.

Championship leader Oliver Solberg (SWE), also driving a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 for team Toksport WRT, on the other hand will not fight for WRC2 points this time. Rally Croatia is not one of the compulsory seven nominated events for the 21 years old son of former FIA World Rally Champion Petter Solberg. Nevertheless, he and co-driver Elliott Edmondson (GBR) will feature in the official rally results.  

Lindholm and Greensmith will face strong competition also from their young and ambitious brand colleagues Erik Cais (CZE) and Sami Pajari (FIN). Both Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 drivers want to have an impact in the fight for WRC2 victory. German veteran Armin Kremer is looking forward to his competition debut at the wheel of the new Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. In the WRC Masters classification, which is reserved for drivers aged 50 and over, he will be up against Italian brand colleague Mauro Miele, the reigning WRC2 Masters champion.

Rally Croatia begins on Thursday (20 April) at 6:30 pm with a ceremonial start in Zagreb, the country’s capital. Eight special stages covering 130.18 kilometres are scheduled for Friday (21 April). On Saturday (22 April), eight special stages totalling 116.60 kms have to be driven. Sunday (April 23) will be the final day with a further four special stages over 54.48 kms. In total, the teams have to tackle 20 special stages covering more than 300 kilometres.

Did you know, that...

...Rally Croatia was held for the first time in 1974 in the former Yugoslavia under the name INA Delta TLX Rally and was part of the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time in 2021?

...the 2017 Rally Croatia saw the Hungarian team Dávid Botka/Márk Mesterházi, competing with a Škoda Fabia Rally2, as overall winners?

...Rally Croatia runs over a mix of fast and winding asphalt tracks, which can have different surfaces ranging from rough surfaces to smooth passages?

...the special stage Stojdraga-Hartje during the first leg runs over a distance of more than 25 kilometres through the picturesque Žumberak National Park?

Top-3 WRC2 Drivers’ overall classification (before Rally Croatia)

1. Oliver Solberg (S), Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, 43 bodů
2. Yohan Rossel (F), Citroën C3 Rally2, 28 bodů
3. Emil Lindholm (FIN), Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, 28 bodů

Top-3 WRC2 Teams overall classification (before Rally Croatia)

1. Toksport WRT 2 (Škoda), 65 bodů
2. Toksport WRT (Škoda), 40 bodů
3. M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, 30 bodů
    Hyundai Motorsport N, 30 bodů

2023 FIA World Rally Championship

Monte-Carlo 19. 01.–22. 01. 2023
Sweden 09. 02.–12. 02. 2023
México 16. 03.–19. 03. 2023
Croatia 20. 04.–23. 04. 2023
Portugal 11. 05.–14. 05. 2023
Italy 01. 06.–04. 06. 2023
Kenya 22. 06.–25. 06. 2023
Estonia 20. 07.–23. 07. 2023
Finland 03. 08.–06. 08. 2023
Greece 07. 09.–10. 09. 2023
Chile 28. 09.–01. 10. 2023
Central Europe (CZE/AUT/DEU) 26. 10.–29. 10. 2023
Japan 16. 11.–19. 11. 2023