Central European Rally Preview: WRC2

October 25, 2023Joe Moore

The 2023 World Rally Championship season continues this weekend with the twelfth round, the Central European Rally.

Championship Rundown

Andreas Mikkelsen maintained the championship lead after Rally Chile BioBio despite not attending the event. There was a strong chance for Yohan Rossel or Gus Greensmith to take the class lead at the event. However, neither of them did. Both closed the gap between themselves and Mikkelsen however. As Rossel now sits just 4 points behind Mikkelsen and Greensmith sits 5 behind Rossel. The Central European Rally will be Rossel and Greensmith’s final event of the season. Meaning it’s their final chance to win the championship. Oliver Solberg moved back into the championship top five after taking home the win in Chile. However, Solberg has no more points-scoring rounds and will not be attending the event this weekend. Sami Pajari rounds out the championship top five, however, Pajari also doesn’t have any points-scoring rounds remaining. Pajari will be attending the event this weekend for experience. With Pajari not scoring points, it leaves the door open for Nikolay Gryazin to move into fifth this weekend. As just 21 points separate the two Toksport drivers. 

A Newish Experience 

This weekend will mark the first-ever Central European Rally. With the event taking place in the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. Some drivers have past experience on German tarmac, however, nobody has experience on it in a current Rally2 car. Outside of Pre-event testing of course. Which is something all teams did before the event. As this is the first time tarmac has been seen in the WRC since April for the Croatia Rally. A new rally means it’s hard to know what to expect from every driver. This means the ones who are willing to take the risks could be rewarded big time, or have their chances at a win ended abruptly.