One of the notional creators of the RSSD and one of the founders of AKK Sveta Nedelja, a rally veteran and multiple national champion, the first winner of the Golden Helmet – Nenad Lončarić at the beginning with the team from Sveta Nedelja had a vision that Santa Domenica should be a race on which new generation of rally drivers are going to be made, but also a race where they will come those who are not in the active racing anymore. Through the past seven editions we have experienced it. Along with the renowned names of today’s races from Europe and Croatia, on the track and in the audience we met rally veterans in whom this unique atmosphere awakes old racing passions. Lončarić has never published a racing retirement so even this year, with Tomislava Pazman as codriver, he will by elegant driving style in his legendary Impreza delight the audience, but after a long break, the track will face him with the former angry competitors.
Darko Rafaj and Igor Kovačić, both from Rijeka, were signed on the entry list, and Darko, who is celebrating his 62. birthday on the day of the race, will be behind the steering wheel of Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX for the first time. Just like the multiple national champion he also won the Golden Helmets. His last rally he was driving with Focus in 2002, and the last “realone with the right car” he was driving in 1998, as he says. Interestingly, regarding gravel, he has driven the last such ride on the Christmas rally in the Ford Escort RS Cosworth, which was driven in Samobor in 1995. “It’s been a long time and we have no idea where we are in relation to the rest, but we’re really looking forward to the show. These days we are doing the latest preparations, including fitness training and finding racing equipment of the right size” – jokes Rafaj.
It is to be expected that the Rafaj-Kovacic crew will face the struggle with his old colleagues the most. Namely, another veteran crew is a great surprise to many. But not for us because we were promised a few years ago that they will appear once and now is finally time for come back to the special stages for vetrans Davor Jurjević and Dražen Mohor, and with Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. Jurjević won many titles of the state champion in the former state and in the Croatian championship. We remember his legendary Lancia Delta HF Integrale, and his career he ended with cup Ford Focus like Rafaj. In Bjelovar, where popular Jura is from, prevails a great excitement because of 8. RSSD. A larger company is getting ready to come on Savršćak for specific support, as well as for a fun gathering. There will be all those who have been sitting on a passenger seat through a long Jura’s career, being in the team or assisting in any way.
During that time, there is another busy veteran crew. Goran Francetić and Marin Frčko have been hoping for a performance at Santa Domenica from the beginning, they had entering but before the race they would always have done something wrong with the car. “I hope this year will not be a bad luck and that we will prepare a car in time. This year we are preparing something special. Rally Raid Toyota Land Cruiser, the vehicle in which Marin Frčko performed with Zvonimir Martinčević in 2005 and 2006 at Dakar”, says Francetić.
The retro nostalgic atmosphere of the eighth Santa Domenica is rounded off by another unexpected entry. The legendary Deda Boris Radalj whom everyone who have ever been to Grobnik knows, and whom chronicles of car sports remembers, with his longtime codriver Davor Bricko will perform in Yugo purchased specially for the RSSD. The promise they made last year in front the camera, they kept.
We believe that this awakening of nostalgia was a good introduction to what we have been waiting for the past year – entry list. With the welcome to the veterans, enjoy the view of, although temporary, really enviously entry list. The list will be updated by the last day for application, 19. November 2017., and by the announcement of the final entry list enjoy with us the new, great surprises that this year’s edition of Rally Show Santa Domenica brings!