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watch WRC’s Croatia Rally: schedule, line-up and extra

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The World Rally Championship is about for a return to asphalt levels on the Croatia Rally after a gruelling weekend on gravel in Kenya final day trip.

Kalle Rovanpera delivered a dominant drive in East Africa to say victory by 1m37.8s on the Safari Rally, which is thought to be the hardest occasion on WRC’s calendar.

The reigning, two-time world champion is not going to be current in Croatia although as he’s solely competing part-time in 2024.

And as he has competed in solely two of this season’s three rounds to date, it’s two different drivers who’re neck and neck on the high of the championship.

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville leads Elfyn Evans by six factors with the Toyota driver then 15 forward of third-placed M-Sport-Ford pilot Adrien Fourmaux, who has scored back-to-back podiums.

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The 2 title protagonists completed off the rostrum in Kenya although, so might be eager to bounce again in Croatia which is an occasion Evans received final yr.

Sebastien Ogier is one other earlier winner of the Croatia Rally and this weekend he might be again within the WRC service park for the primary time because the Monaco season-opener.

The eight-time world champion is sharing Toyota’s third entry with Rovanpera, as Ogier can be competing part-time in 2024. Regardless of that, Ogier might nonetheless be a giant risk in Croatia as he completed second on the Monte Carlo Rally.

Sébastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Picture by: Toyota Racing

Ott Tanak is one other driver to look out after a disappointing marketing campaign to date, regardless of the 2019 world champion getting into this season as one of many favourites. The Hyundai driver is fourth within the championship and 34 factors behind team-mate Neuville having failed to complete on the rostrum to date.

However, Tanak has completed on the Croatia Rally podium in every of the previous two years so it could be the proper occasion for him to rediscover his kind after an underwhelming begin to his Hyundai return.

As for his former group, M-Sport, it’s lagging behind within the producers’ championship as Fourmaux is its solely competitor who’s constantly on the entrance. In consequence, M-Sport is at the moment 59 factors behind Toyota within the championship with Hyundai trailing the Japanese producer by solely 4 factors.

And plenty of extra twists and turns are anticipated to play out within the championship beginning with the Croatia Rally this weekend – so right here is easy methods to watch it.

When is the Croatia Rally?

Date: 18-21 April
Begin time: 5:30pm BST/6:30pm native time on Thursday 18 April 2024

The 2024 Croatia Rally begins on Thursday 18 April at 5:30pm in the UK and 6:30pm native time. Nevertheless, that’s when the opening ceremony begins as the primary official stage doesn’t begin till the next day.

So, the opening stage for the Croatia Rally begins at 7:28am BST and eight:28am native time on Friday 19 April. Earlier than the primary stage can be shakedown on the 18 April at 8am BST and 9am native time, the place drivers check varied set-ups on their vehicles forward of the weekend.

5:30pm BST/6:30pm native time 

7:28am BST/8:28am native time 

1:45pm BST/2:45pm native time 

6:31am BST/7:31am native time 

1:31pm BST/2:31pm native time 

6:08am BST/7:08am native time 

12:15pm BST/1:15pm native time 

How can I watch the WRC?

UK followers can watch the WRC through TNT Sports activities (previously referred to as BT Sport) as it is going to stay televise each spherical of the 2024 season having held the broadcasting rights since 2014.

WRC TV camera

WRC TV digicam

Picture by: WRC.com

It does imply the WRC just isn’t free-to-air although as followers should purchase a subscription in an effort to watch TNT. At present, as a part of a particular supply, new prospects should purchase TNT for £16 a month in a deal which incorporates all 4 sport channels, Eurosport 1 and a couple of, in addition to Discovery+. Discovery+ is TNT’s stay streaming platform which means rally’s high class will also be watched through a cellular or console.

The WRC will also be watched through Rally.TV, which broadcasts the European Rally Championship and World Rallycross Championship as effectively. Rally.television gives two offers to new prospects: an annual move for £119.99 or a month-to-month move for £12.99.

How can I watch the Croatia Rally?

TNT Sports activities will begin its Croatia Rally protection at 8am on Thursday for shakedown, earlier than stay broadcasting each official stage from Friday morning which means the ceremonial begin is not going to be proven.

Its Friday protection will start at 7:15am with early begins on Saturday and Sunday as effectively. Nevertheless, because of the schedule, TNT Sports activities might be on and off with its protection relying on every stage’s begin time – for instance, one programme will cowl levels 9 to 12 on Saturday morning earlier than resuming protection for levels 13 to 16 after a lunch break.

Rally.television will observe the identical format, nevertheless not like TNT it is going to additionally stay broadcast the ceremonial begin in addition to every official stage.

When can I watch the Croatia Rally highlights?

TNT Sports activities will broadcast a 30-minute spotlight package deal on Friday (10:15pm), Saturday (11:30pm) and Sunday (11pm) night time displaying clips of that day’s motion. Purple Bull TV can even run a highlights programme at 9pm on these nights.

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Crew Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Picture by: Fabien Dufour / Hyundai Motorsport

ITV4 can even be broadcasting a Croatia Rally highlights programme and it’ll air on Tuesday 23 April at 9pm whereas working for one hour.

Autosport additionally supply every day highlights, whereas a brief package deal might be out there through WRC’s official YouTube channel quickly after every day has completed.

What’s the route for the Croatia Rally?

The Croatia Rally consists of 20 particular levels masking a complete aggressive distance of 176.02 miles on a tarmac floor. A morning stage will kick off proceedings on Friday with 14.68 miles of Krasic, which is a reasonably rural village simply 33.18 miles south-west of capital metropolis Zagreb.

From there, the rally heads south to Jaskovo (5.89 miles) for stage two earlier than Ravna Gora (6.29 miles) and Platak (10.33 miles) spherical off the morning. That route is then achieved in reverse on Friday afternoon earlier than Saturday additionally options two equivalent loops of eight levels.

Smerovisce – 22.74 miles of Zagreb – kickstarts Saturday with 9.77 miles of the hilly area earlier than the rally heads north in direction of the Slovenia border for stage 9’s Stojdraga (12.91 miles), however the route then goes south for Vinski Vrh (5.46 miles) and Pecurkovo Brdo (5.66 miles). That actual route will then play out on Saturday afternoon for what is an important a part of the weekend as it’s when the majority of factors are provisionally awarded.

Below a brand new rule for 2024, a sliding factors scale of 18-15-13-10-8-6-4-3-2-1 is awarded on the finish of Saturday, nevertheless a crew will solely rating these factors if it finishes on the Sunday. The tally for an ideal rally stays 30 although, as a result of a sliding scale of 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 is then used for Sunday with the weekend closing Energy Stage providing bonus factors of 5-4-3-2-1.

So, to get these factors on Sunday drivers will first must do 8.17 miles of Trakoscan earlier than ending the morning with Zagorska Sela (8.85 miles) and one other run of Trakoscan. The occasion then finishes with one other 8.85 miles of Zagorska Sela for the Energy Stage.

Rally1 entry record for the Croatia Rally

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