Croatia Rally 2021
22. 4. – 25. 4. 2021, Zagreb • AK Cro Dakar Team + AK Delta Timing • asphalt 300.32 km • total distance including road sections - 1270.89 km • Other years
"That last corner! I just got onto the loose and completely missed the next corner. It wasn't all lost there, but I'd say a second was gone. That's a shame, but it was a big fight all weekend and hats off to Seb for the last stage."
"I think it won't be enough for the win. It has been an eventful weekend for me after this morning. We are here and we have to look forward."
"I pushed very hard but I overshot a junction and lost three seconds. We have tried our best. I was absolutely on the limit of the car all the time and trying to enjoy, which we did. Martijn did a good job also - it wasn't easy for the co-driver. I am happy to be here."
"The surface is nice. I like the Tarmac and I always enjoy it. Even now on this stage, I drive, but it's far away from my comfort zone and not nice at all. For sure, there is work to do."
"I am really happy. Just disappointed about one thing: the rally is finished now! I can only say thank you to M-Sport for their opportunity. It was an incredible weekend for us. I think we had an amazing pace in some places. What a weekend!"
"It has been a very tough weekend but thank you to my gravel crew and all the team. We had some good stage times and it was really nice."
"There was a few parts in there that caught me out. The weekend on the whole was pretty positive. It's a shame about today, but okay."
"Yesterday morning was such a disappointment: only 100 metres into the day and it really was game over. It's difficult to go 150% on these really tricky stages. Okay, I enjoyed and learned a lot, so there's definitely food for thought."
"Unfortunately with the mistake yesterday we missed a good result. I am sure the luck will turn, I just need to wait for it."
"That was excellent. Today was one of the worst I have had in a car - I can't believe I am at the end. So many times I couldn't stop the car and I had to roll and be really careful."
"In the end, the performance was good. It was quite a difficult situation at the beginning as we did not have a test in the dry, but we managed to get used to the car."
"We are very happy. It was a difficult rally. I think our pace was great the entire weekend. I am looking forward to the first event on gravel in Portugal."
"I don't think we had optimal tyre choice, but in the end I tried to push and I hope its enough."
"Pushing pretty hard. It's not so easy trying to guess hiow much gravel there is, but all okay."
"To be honest, I gave it everything in there. The car was working nice and my pace notes were good. I can't do more."
"The ambition is to finish the rally."
"It's really difficult because we lost the tyres after 18km and after the car was really unprecise and moving. I just wanted to have a tidy drive and I was quite happy with the car."
"We managed to fix them, but we still haven't managed to fix the brakes yet so we'll try and sort them before the Power Stage."
"I really focussed on my job and like I said, this rally is going to be very tricky anyway."
"It was better, but in this stage in some parts there is some gravel so I was a bit careful I think. The tyre was working well."
"Honestly, I still struggle with this turning. It seems to be getting worse. It's very upsetting in some places, the car is doing some strange things. We'll have to check it out."
Stuck behind Brazzoli
"It was a good stage but not for me. I have brake problems and I have to really manage my driving. I don't know what's happening but it's very problematic."
"It has been a tricky morning but it is not over."
"A lot of pollution already and very slippery. Not easy, but all okay."
"I probably have some gravel in the rear wheel because I have a lot of vibrations. I slid a bit wide on a slow corner, nothing major, but it's a hell of a stage."
"It's a narrow stage but it was clean - that's the most important thing at the moment."
"The hard tyre was quite cold and I wasn't careful enough in the corner. The car just slid off the road and we were lucky to get back on the road. We are here, so that's what's important."
"We've lost all hydraulic pressure."
"I didn't push to be honest. Anything can happen in this rally, especially on this stage - it was very tricky. Lots of gravel is coming from the inside."
were off road
"Quite okay. I think I am carrying a problem from the first stage - I have a really strange feeling with the front of the car like I had yesterday. Something with the transmission - they are similar roads to yesterday."
"I was really careful and I think the second loop will be rough conditions."
"We are trying. I did have some brake issues on this stage - I don't know why - but it was not a comfortable ride."
"The downhill was slippery and it's true that I was not really driving well downhill."
"It's very difficult to know whether to push more, or try and be tidy on the way down because the grip is so low."
"On the downwhill sections I was understeering quite a lot. The road is quite dirty and I tried to adjust my driving to the conditions. I did the best I could."
"I was a bit too careful in the slippery downhill sections and I didn't set a good pace. It was a really really fast stage, but it's slippery and the goal is to finish the rally now."
"I've got an issue with the brakes, so I need to try and solve it."
"For me I was not driving good. Some corners are very slippery and I was not sure about grip levels. I will try to improve the next one."
"I'd say one of the worst stages I have driven in my life. I just have no confidence at all - really shocking in some places."
"It was very slippery. Thanks to the team, they did a fantastic job after our mistake yesterday."
"It's been quite a difficult rally but I have really enjoyed the challenge. The fight is quite tight so I will try to keep pushing."
"The team told me just to drive, I am driving. If the car has some issues, it's the car's problem, not mine. I am just here to enjoy myself."
"I think the performance has been good. We have been able to increase our pace and drive more controlled in the afternoon. We have a bit of a gap now but we have to stay focussed for tomorrow - it's a long day and the Power Stage is probably the most difficult of the rally."
"I don't know. We tried to fight back this afternoon when we had better tyres on the car. I had an issue with my jack and I couldn't change tyres all loop, so my tyres were a bit dead for the last stages. I tried to continue to push but obviously we lost a little bit."
"It has been a good day for sure - the only issue was a puncture, otherwise we can be happy. It's going to be a fun Sunday!"
"We're there or there abouts. The target is of course to win."
"I actually don't know what to tell you. I think it's quite clear that I am far away from where I should be."
"It was an amazing day for us. We had really good pace on the first stage of the loop, and when we are focussed on one stage we are doing a good stage. For the last three we were a bit more careful, but the time is not so bad."
"It was a better afternoon - a bit smoother and a bit more chilled."
"I am pretty happy. It has been a very long day, but there are a lot of things I learned. The confidence is coming and in some conditions I am pretty happy with my driving. Still a long way to go, but it's going in the right direction."
"It's perhaps a bit of a weight penalty [carrying 2 spare wheels] but it was the decision we took."
"Taka is going really fast this afternoon. It felt like a really good run to be honest, there weren't many places I could have gone faster."
lost power steering
"With the right tyres, the car is working nice. It was a really challenging stage but I had a good rhythm - I had a few slides but I saw some lines everywhere so I guess it's the same for everyone."
"I had a slow puncture and then in the last two kilometres there was no air in it at all."
"I'm just not brave enough in the gravel sections - I said to Scott at the end that I don't think we were brave enough."
"It's okay - a clean run. It's tricky, but nothing special."
"We are slower compared to this morning, but I think that's quite normal when we look at the conditions. I love the downhill sections - the feeling is like you are skiiing!"
"I was given some strong words of advice, so I'll stick to them. It's okay."
"This morning we were faster - we took back back 20sec and I hope we can do the same this afternoon."
"It was very tricky like I expected. I think I had a pretty okay time - the gravel crew did a great job and I didn't have any moments. Nothing to say because I need to bring the car back to service."
Missed corner - had to reverse
Missed corner - had to reverse
Missed corner - had to reverse
"It was just cold tyres because we were waiting at the start. Let's see what we can do on the second loop."
"I lost the brake pedal completely and I had no handbrake, so it was really tricky and I had to reduce the speed. I am lucky to be here. We need to get it right for this afternoon."
"We tried to adjust a little bit. I have been struggling a bit with my pace notes and I haven't had the rhythm."
"I was quite confident our choice was the best one, but we are still learning with this tyre. I couldn't be 100% sure, but I was thinking we had the best choice."
"Seb has had a strong morning. This morning was already a bit dirtier than what I expected - it's drier, but there's a lot of loose gravel and in some places that's even slipper than mud."
"It was so-so. The first stage was the worst but since then it has not been so bad. Not really on the pace, but that's how it is."
"I would say we made a mistake on the tyre choice - we should have been on a much harder option. Okay, we just tried to make the best of it and make our way through."
"I was really surprised this morning. I was happy about my drive but to do the second fastest time was just crazy. I went a bit more carefully for the rest of the loop. That one was maybe the worst stage I did this morning, so we will see the time. I am enjoying."
"Not good. We can improve but there's a lot of work."
"It's very nice - very enjoyable with the car but the last part is really slippery so I was careful. Still a long way to go this afternoon, so it will be nice I think."
"I had a good feeling and I changed my driving style a little bit and it looks like it worked well. I didn't take any risks in this stage because I wanted to bring it back and focus on the more tricky conditions this afternoon."
Off road, but continued without front bumper
retired after off road in SS9
"Wrong tyre choice. I couldn't keep the rear in the line but, okay, it is like it is."
"It's only the first stage of the day. Very dirty in places but it will be a long day."
"Feeling okay. This stage was quite dirty actually - quite a lot of gravel pulled out already."
"It's quite a different surface today. I am not sure we were correct this morning."
"On the roundabout at the start of the stage, I touched the kerb, got a puncture and I had to stop and change it."
"I had a good feeling with the car and I was really happy about my drive. I was careful in the tricky sections but started pushing where I felt the stage was okay. I started to lose the tyres a little bit at the end of the stage but it was a nice drive."
"It didn't feel good. In some sections I just wasn't carrying anywhere near enough speed, so there's a lot of work to do for the afternoon on that one."
changed a puncture
"I am quite happy that I had quite a clean road but there was still some gravel. The second loop will be very tricky if there is more gravel coming from the inside."
"This afternoon we were a bit faster across all the stages. There is still work to do."
"I think it has been a very good day. Very tricky conditions out there, so we are basically trying to manage our day. I feel comfortable with the speed that we have and I think other people are probably pushing a bit harder than us."
"When I feel I can push, I am pushing sometimes. It's interesting, I am just trying to enjoy it. In this stage I was not pushing because it's the end of the day and everybody wants to be here for tomorrow."
"I was thinking that we would be quicker in this one. We have to understand."
"I am really happy. It's amazing. The car is so nice to drive, it's just crazy and the stages are insane in some places. I tried to improve my pace when I had the confidence and I tried to pull it back when I didn't have the confidence. It's a hard job!"
"Not the cleanest stage but we're here."
"It's up and down. I made some mistakes and it was not easy to keep confidence but there is still a long way to go. I will try to get more confidence and we will be okay."
"I have some things I need to change in the car tomorrow. We got through anyway."
"We were improving, so that's the main thing. I don't really feel comfortable so it's difficult to push, but I am doing everything I can in the zone I have and hopefully we can improve for tomorrow."
"It has been close all day. Not the perfect afternoon for us, but it's not been bad either. There are definitely some things to work on for tomorrow, so let's see."
"We are in the fight and the car is good fun to drive this afternoon. There is a long way to go and I think we will have a good fight with Thierry and my team-mate Elfyn."
"We had a small moment. I was trying to push a bit more but under braking I lost the grip so I went a bit off line. It was all under control."
"It's nice to fight with my team-mate, but we will also be careful. There were some crazy big jumps in this stage and I had one bad moment when the car jumped down and pushed me out of the line."
"I loved that stage - it's brilliant."
"We lost a lot of time in the last stage, but now I have to get back the confidence. We are just taking a clean run."
"I thought honestly that was better. Yep - we move on."
"It's better, but it could be a lot better. This is where I feel comfortable at the moment."
"We are trying. Not a perfect stage, but it's not easy when the conditions are like this with dirt on the road."
"The road is more dry for sure. There are plenty of corners where there is no clean line, so I had to reduce the rhythm a little bit. The car is working nice, so that's definitely helping."
“That stage was still really slippery. I had a spin but there were so many greasy and gravel bits in it.”
struggling with an issue on the turbo pop-off valve
"It was tricky - no doubt."
"The stage feels slippier, I don't know why. In some places the grip is terrible and you are waiting for the car to find grip, but sometimes it was fun."
"It was more slippery than this morning. The big one is coming so we will try to do well."
"It was like this morning, but maybe a bit less damp in sections. I was just trying to have a clean drive. I did two or three mistakes in the hairpins but I am enjoying and I am learning."
"That felt okay - but I felt like the grip in there was so low so it felt slow. The time is okay."
"It was a good run. It's still tricky and the next one will even trickier so I will still be careful but I will try to push."
"That's a good start. Ott is on a bit of a charge, but apart from that we're getting closer and closer every stage."
"We tried to do many changes to get more comfortable. The conditions are so tricky so we're happy to get through here."
"The gravel is very very bad. Even at the end there, it was still very slippery even though it's dry now."
"Much more dirty. Some sections are like gravel but it's okay."
"I am first on the road and there are no lines. I had a spin in a hairpin - I was on the clutch waiting for the car to start so I lost a little bit of time."
Little accident, but continued
"It was a slippery place. I lost the line and went a bit wide."
were off road
"It's the first time for me in these conditions, but this stage was very enjoyable. Let's continue, I am sure it will be much better this afternoon."
"I am so happy. The car is amazing and I am enjoying so much. I made some mistakes in this stage but I don't really care - I just want to drive this car and see where the limit is."
"It wasn't too bad. That was probably the slippiest stage of the morning and there were a few places I ran wide."
"I didn't understand a pace note maybe. The junction came very quick and we braked too late. Luckily this is the last one of the loop."
missed a junction
"The surface is so strange here. Even now, it's dry but we can't get the tyre working."
"I think it's tricky - the grip is changing a lot, especially towards the end of this stage. It's not easy."
"It was very slippery and I made a couple of mistakes where we went a bit wide because of low grip. Not super-happy with the set-up, but it's still a long way."
"We had a decent loop. Obviously doing the best I can, the two last stages were really slippery as well. There were some really surprising grip changes."
"We had a slight slide! The time is not really good - we didn't get a good feeling on the stage."
"It happened on the big jump. It was quite a hard landing and I was next expecting it to be so big."
"I don't know. I thought it was not so bad, but the time is very bad. We need to understand the time."
"I am happy to do another good time. I don't want to push too hard in some places. This one was nice and a bit less dirty than the other stages, but of course there was still some dirt in some places."
"I was throwing it around a bit and enjoying myself. There was a jump towards the end and it was not what I expected! If somebody got a picture of that, please send it to me!"
"It's getting more dirty. Still a high-speed stage, some sections are dry but in others there is mud there. Maybe the next loop will be more fun, but I still need to be careful in some sections."
"I put the two hard tyres on for that stage, but I should have put them on a lot earlier to be honest. It's a learning process, but all is good at the moment."
"It's just our pace at the moment..."
"It's difficult to compare because it's the first time we have driven the car on dry Tarmac. The car feels good - it's not so easy out there but we are enjoying."
"We lost too much in the first two stages. I tried to push a bit harder in there and the feeling is coming, so we have to carry on that way."
"I am driving as good as I can and the car feels quite okay. Our tyre choice seems to be not too bad. The road will not get cleaner, but in this one I think there will be not a lot of difference."
"I just said to my co-driver that I think we lost a lot of time because I completely lost my brakes at the end. I am very happy to be at the end of this one to be honest."
"We are having fun and enjoying the difficulty - so we will try to continue like that!"
"We will see. We changed the tyres - I don't know if it was a good decision but we will see what the times show."
"It was very difficult - I tried to not do any mistakes but it was very difficult."
"I was enjoying a lot in this stage. It's completely dirty now, so I was too careful in some places. I need to be careful in some places but I am just enjoying all the time."
"Obviously it's a big change for me. I am pretty happy in there - there were quite a few places I could improve on but I'm happy."
"It's very tricky anyway. In some corners the grip is quite high but in others it is damp. The next two stages will be quite tricky so we will see how it goes."
"I just need a little bit more confidence in some places - it feels a little bit alien still. I'm quite happy."
"No - all is okay. It's quite tricky out there."
"It's still very slippery to be honest. Some of the cuts that have been pulled out are already making a difference. It's tricky, but we're trying."
"It's not getting faster for sure. It's not perfect at the moment but we will keep fighting."
"Zero grip. There is zero grip. I had a lot of surprises and a huge jump where we landed very hard. We are here - I am lucky."
Off road - totally destroyed car, but still continued with racing
"Super annoyed, the whole opening stage was super slippery and we were struggling with a lot of understeer. I still tried to push, but on this fast right hander grip just completely dissapeared and we understeered off the road into the trees. "
"It's definitely more tricky than I expected. I think we are doing good, all is fine and we are doing it without any trouble or mistakes."
"It's okay. There are tricky conditions out there but we did a decent stage."
"I took it carefully. This was supposed to be an easy stage, but it was very difficult - I am happy to be at the end of this one."
"It was a very slippery stage. In some places it was so slippery with a lot of gravel, I was not expecting this."
"There was so much gravel - I was very surprised. I didn't get the tyres to work at all but we did our best. It's a long rally."
"I am happy to be on Tarmac, but it's really difficult to manage! It will be tough."
"I was just enjoying the stage. I expected less dirt than we found in the stage, but it was nice!"
"It felt okay. It was slippery in places, but we're struggling with the temperature in the hard tyres."
"It's a short stage but it's very tricky. I have never driven on this kind of very slippery Tarmac, so it will be very tricky today."
"Like ice! The road is full of dirt to be honest. It was 6km but it felt like a long stage!"
"Pretty bad grip. The start wasn't so bad but towards the end it was pretty bad."
"I lost a rhytm after I saw Kalle off."