How to simultaneously compete at two rallies 3500km apart

Privateer outfit Toksport will be at both the Azores Rally and Quattro River Rally Karlovac this weekend


Transporting two rally cars worth €500,000 into the middle of nowhere must keep the logistics experts at Toksport awake at night.

Perhaps it’s the sort of challenge they thrive on. Doing that job, it most likely is.

But there’s no denying that transporting cars to this weekend’s Azores Rally in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean is more challenging than most.

However, if you thought that was a challenge, add Quattro River Rally Karlovac on the same weekend – where another pair of Toksport’s Škoda Fabia RS Rally2s will run – into the equation too and you begin to understand the logistical challenge the Toksport team is facing.

It couldn’t be me, I’ll tell you that.

And what’s more, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Toksport is not a factory team. It’s a privateer outfit punching above its weight to operate at the same level as the works teams.

But that’s why Toksport is one of the leading World Rally Championship teams at the moment. No matter the job, it will get done.

Looking ahead to the complicated voyage, Toksport team owner Serkan Duru was utterly unfazed by the prospect.

“Yes,” he said, acknowledging the scale of the journey, “but we get used to this because in the last two years we were doing also the ERC with the Clio Trophy and that was one of the reasons we decided to stop, slow down and just focus on the new car in the WRC.

“So we get used to this – it’s fine.”

The trip to the Azores therefore isn’t a road untravelled.

But Duru did admit that dividing the team to run Sébastien Loeb and Andreas Mikkelsen on the Portuguese island and Gus Greensmith and Nikolay Gryazin in Croatia would stretch the team to its limit.

“We will divide the team in two,” Duru explained.

“As you know we have a huge spare package with the [Fabia] evo since many years but the other car is just two to three rallies old and then spare parts all over the world is a bit limited so has to go there, there, there.

“So we will pass the island on the boat on Thursday [last week], so we will arrive to the island Monday and we will test on Tuesday.”

You’re reading this two days after that test, and we’ve not reported on any nightmares so that means the Toksport team pulled it off.

Not that it was ever in doubt.

A victory on both events would be the ultimate justification for making the effort. And with 417 WRC starts between the four drivers, that certainly wouldn’t be an outside bet.