Croatia Rally Predictions

April 18, 2024Joe Moore

The fourth round of the 2024 WRC season the Croatia Rally is upon us, below I will give some predictions for the event. 

Neuville Wins

It’s no secret that Thierry Neuville is one of the best if not the best driver on tarmac in the WRC. Elfyn Evans may have won two of the four tarmac events last season, including the Croatia Rally. Neuville has been much more consistent on tarmac throughout his career. As the Belgian has won 10 events on tarmac since 2014. Whilst Evans has only on two since 2014. Predicting a Neuville win may seem like a low-risk prediction, and for the most part, it is. However, the 35-year-old has never won the event. Neuville’s best finish at the event is third in both 2021 and 2022. Neuville has had a spectacular start to the 2024 season. Winning the Rallye Monte-Carlo to kick off the season and then finishing fourth and fifth in Sweden and Kenya respectively. 

Tänak Bounces Back 

Ott Tänak has had a rather disappointing start to his 2024 season compared to his Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville. As the 2019 World Champion has yet to complete an event without an incident costing him loads of time. In Monte-Carlo, it was a simple slide off the road which cost him a decent chunk of time. In Sweden an off forced Tänak to retire early into the event. Finally in Kenya, a rock sent Tänak’s i20 flying into a berm. Tänak isn’t out of the championship race yet despite him sitting 34 points behind Neuville and 28 behind Elfyn Evans, his two biggest championship rivals this season. That being said Tänak will need a strong result in Croatia to maintain a decent chance at the championship heading into the middle of the season. I wouldn’t be shocked if Tänak finishes on the podium this weekend. 

Munster Will Impress

Grégoire Munster hasn’t had a great start to the 2024 season. This isn’t much of a surprise, however. As this is Munster’s first full season in a Rally1 car. Granted the 25-year-old did contest two events in a Rally1 car last season. Nevertheless, a slow start for Munster isn’t much of a surprise. Munster was doing good in Monte-Carlo before he got stuck on the side of the road and was forced into a Super Rally. There is a reason I believe Munster will shine this weekend. That reason is because Munster has always been relatively good on Tarmac. I’m not expecting a podium finish from Munster, however, a top-five finish could be in the cards. 

Rossel Takes WRC2 Win

Yohan Rossel has won the WRC2 class at the Croatia Rally every time it’s been a part of the championship excluding 2021 when Mads Østberg won the event. Due to this picking Rossel to win the WRC2 class again this weekend isn’t a hard choice. Especially when the start of this season has been identical to the start of last season. Rossel took home the win in Monte-Carlo once again, Solberg won in Sweden and Greensmith won the third event of the year. This also makes Rossel an easy choice to predict as the winner for this weekend’s event. Much like Monte-Carlo, Rossel will have to fend off Nikolay Gryazin and Pepe López. This is in addition to names such as Sami Pajari, Gus Greensmith, Niclas Ciamin and Emil Lindholm, all of which can hold their own on Tarmac.