Rally Santa Domenica will today start with the official ceremonial start in the Sveta Nedelja center. On the entry list there are 113 teams. Among them are one WRC car, 5 cars in R5 category and 11 cars in Group N. Beppo Harrach will have the privilege to open the first of five special stages tomorrow, but this year he will face the strongest competitions so far. But one of the most deserved people for this great rally is Daniel Vojvodić, leader of the organisation team from AKK Sveta Nedelja. Unsurprisingly, he is today a happy man when he sees how big his gravel show has become.
How are you satisfied with the entry list for the 2016 edition of your rally?
We are very happy. Entry list has 113 competitors and that is a fantastic award to us for all the effort we have put in the promotion of the event. We have a lot of interest from drivers, especially from Slovenia and Hungary, but this year also from Austria and Italy. Our rally is really a special one. It’s run on gravel, it is cost wise very rational and therefore almost everyone can join us. It is also one of the last events in a year and many drivers come here to enjoy driving on gravel without any result pressure. I can say that our organization team successfully build the Rally Santa Domenica brand and now this event is already established in Croatia and also in many foreign countries.
What will the special stage look like this year?
Special stages will stay mainly the same as in previous year. We have an almost identical stage with five runs. Driver will do it twice in one direction and in afternoon three times in the opposite direction. There will be some little changes to increase the attraction of the stage. One of the highlights will be a big jump that got almost viral last year. With almost 120 cars on start, spectators will be able to see almost 600 drives during the day. That’s not bad, isn’t it?
How much time to you dedicate to organisation, how many people will work during the event?
As you can imagine, there is a lot of work to be done. After last year rally finished, we basically already started thinking about the new one. Two or three months before the rally all the work became even one step more serious. In that period we have something to do with the event each single day. We have a lot of responsibilities concerning promotion, marketing, inviting different drivers and closing the financial packages. Of course we have also to prepare the special stage, spectator zones, place for ceremonial start etc. Our basic organization team has around 10 people. I am very grateful to our partner AK Delta Timing from Zagreb, because they are helping us with the sport-technical part of the rally. Their work is flawless. Of course, when the rally starts, all the work significantly increases. On the racing Sunday there will be around 100 people working in different parts of the event.
How could you describe your cooperation with local people, authorities and sponsors?
Our biggest and exclusive sponsor is still Husqvarna. With their support we are able to prepare the special stage. We have a lot of support from families Horvat, Draclin and Belak that lives on the area of the special stages and we drive through their territory. Our traditional partners are still Subaru-Auto Lončarić, Čipi Čips and many others. This year we also got the support from petrol and energy company Petrol, Purić-Turbonet, Epson and Eurotrade. We enjoy also the support from the major of town Sveta Nedelja Drago Prahin. He is a big racing fan and he is one of the main reasons we can do the event every year. I’m also happy for the support from Sport association of town Sveta Nedelja, Touristic union of Sveta Nedelja and Sport community of Zagreb county. On official web site of Touristic association of Croatia, Rally Santa Domenica is event presented enclosed to the Advent time in Zagreb.
Who will win this year? Beppo Harrach for the fourth time or …?
We never had some many potential winners as this year. Beppo is definitely one of them. He is a very attractive driver with a sensational car. Spectators love him. Antal Kovacs was very fast here already this year in a similar ford fiesta R5. Peter Ranga is one of the most promising Hungarian drivers in Škoda Fabia R5, while we can’t forget even the Austrian Gerald Rigler and his Ford Fiesta WRC. We are all waiting what Slovenian driver Rok Turk can show us in a Ford Fiesta R5. I’m well convinced that Andreas Aigner will be very spectacular in the BMW. But this are just few of the drivers, there will be guys in really different and still very interesting cars showing the same amount of dedication and willing to impress the people and enjoy our gravel rally.