Croatia toughest asphalt rally there is – Fourmaux

M-Sport's WRC2 pilot believes the Zagreb-based event is even harder than the notorious Monte Carlo Rally


M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux believes that Croatia Rally is one of the toughest events on the World Rally Championship schedule – even harder than the Monte Carlo Rally.

Fourmaux had contested both previous WRC editions of the Zagreb-based event, impressing on his way to fifth place in 2021. That was his first competitive event in a World Rally Car as he stepped up from M-Sport’s WRC2 lineup to swap places with an out-of-sorts Teemu Suninen.

Such was the impression Fourmaux made that it played a significant role in him securing more top-tier events with the team, culminating in a full-time drive last year.

However, last year’s Croatia Rally proved to be a microcosm of a difficult season for Fourmaux. In difficult conditions, he crashed out on just the third stage into a private garden and was ruled out of the rest of the event with chassis damage.


Demoted back to M-Sport’s WRC2 roster this year, Fourmaux has been rebuilding his confidence with some strong showings. Last weekend in Croatia, he finished fourth in WRC2 behind current asphalt benchmark Yohan Rossel’s Citroën C3, and likely would have made the podium had a bolt not come loose and caused an electrical problem.

Fourmaux recorded one fastest stage time in the class and a further five in the top three. But it had been hard work reading the event’s many surface changes.

“I think it’s one of the most difficult Tarmac rallies I’ve ever done,” Fourmaux told DirtFish. “Even [more than] Monte Carlo but that’s more because of ice, etc.

“But here, the grip is difficult to read it, it’s difficult to feel it, the tire choice is different. The weather is changing all the time. It was blue sky this morning [Sunday]; it’s already cloudy [now].

“It’s really, really difficult. A lot of gravel, a lot of cuts. So yeah, it’s a big challenge.”


WRC2 crews were not enabled to use a route note crew either, only amplifying that challenge.

M-Sport had homologated a new differential for its Ford Fiesta Rally2 ahead of Croatia Rally, and Fourmaux was pleased with its performance. Without being hampered by an electrical issue early on the first day, he may have challenged for a class podium.

“It was going well on Saturday and Sunday,” he said. “We made some improvements with the chassis and it was working really well. Honestly, I was pleased to drive the car, the feeling was good and we were pushing in every stage.

“So no, it was a positive, a good weekend for us; we are happy. It was a shame we had an electronic issue on Friday because I think we could have gained even more than one position.”