Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Nascar Returns to Croatia this Month at Grobnik Racetrack Near Rijeka

September 14, 2021 - On September 18 and 19, Grobnik Racetrack near Rijeka will host Euronascar!

Last year was historic for Croatian motorsports, despite all of the complications due to COVID-19. Croatia hosted the WCR and NASCAR GP. The opportunity was accepted phenomenally because the events justified all expectations, and in fact, even exceeded them. As a reward, Croatia has been confirmed to host Nascar and WRC in the coming years, reports HRTurizam.

Thus, in one year, Croatia positioned itself on European soil as new motorsport and tourist destination.

"We are delighted with the agreement reached on long-term cooperation with Automotodrom Grobnik (Grobnik Racetrack). We found a fantastic place for NASCAR GP. It is located by the sea, on the beautiful Croatian "Riviera," the track is wonderful, and the drivers were thrilled with it. We found very motivated, dedicated partners in the employees of Grobnik Racetrack. There is great interest in NASCAR races in the area, and everyone has worked wonderfully together to organize the first NASCAR race there. The southeastern part of Europe is a new area for us that we are just discovering, and we have definitely found a new home in Croatia for EuroNASCAR. Also, we want to work with local federations and other partners to develop drivers from the region; there are many talents we need to discover. This is a very positive step for the future," said Jerome Galpin, President of the Nascar Euro Series.

"I hope that in the second year, the pandemic will not force us to close the facility to the public again because the interest of the audience exists. Except from the point of view of sports, this event can make a significant contribution to the development of Croatian motorsports and tourism," added Robert Žiković, a member of the Automotodrom Grobnik Management Board.

Such global events are certainly an excellent motive for coming to Croatia. In this case, we are talking about millions of octane sports enthusiasts, as well as a large number of visitors following Formula 1 or sporting events or the Ultra Festival around the world. Thus, the motive of arrival, in addition to the race itself, allows Croatia to impress tourists and give them an incentive to return, this time in the role of a real tourist.

They also generate large tourist consumption, which is dispensed with many industries, from the diversity of the technical organization itself, accommodation, catering facilities, transportation, and more.

For example, at the recent Formula 1 event in Budapest, all spectators had to show proof of vaccination or recovery to validate the purchased ticket, without which you could not enter the track - Hungaroring). The race gathered about 110,000 spectators who stayed in Budapest for up to five days.

When looking at the positive impact of the WRC on destinations, we can use 2019 as a reference. Thus, in 2019, the WRC races were watched by 836 million spectators, with 4.3 million spectators along the tracks. Studies show that the direct spending of followers, organizations, and teams during the 2019 Rally in Portugal exceeded 73 million euros. But, of course, the positive impact is much wider.

By comparison, NASCAR in Europe can be compared to Formula 1, while the WRC is the most-watched octane sport in the world after Formula 1. This is because it all revolves around Formula 1 setting the standards.

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Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Legendary Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve Visited Brijuni

April 6, 2021 – About 40,000 tourists vacationed in Croatia for the Easter holidays. Among them, the legendary Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve visited Brijuni National Park!

As the Brijuni National Park reported today, they had a special guest last weekend as the Canadian sports car driver, former world champion in Formula 1 Jacques Villeneuve stayed with his family in Istria for the Easter holidays.

Villeneuve and his family spent one day of their vacation in the Brijuni National Park, where they toured with expert guidance the natural and cultural-historical sights of the largest island of the Brijuni archipelago, Veliki Brijun.

Brijuni left a very positive impression on Villeneuve – the 1997 World Champion in Formula 1 with Williams Renault, winner of the 1995 Indianapolis 500, second in 24 Hours of Le Mans, namely the legend of motorsport.

As reported by the Brijuni National Park, Villeneuve was delighted with the many specialties of the archipelago. He especially liked the Boat House (Kuća za brodice) Education and Interpretation Center in the port of Brijuni. He also enjoyed the gastronomic delicacies of the Galija restaurant.

He praised the beauty of Istria, where he also visited the cities of Pula, Rovinj, and Motovun. Croatian Auto and Karting Association's president Davorin Štetner boasted on Facebook of dinner and wine with Jacques Villeneuve in Motovun, noting that such great world champions are thus promoting our country.

He also brought Villeneuve on the off-road track in the small Istrian settlement of Gambetići!

Villeneuve, who is currently driving for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, was supposed to come to Croatia back in November 2020 and drive the NASCAR GP on the Grobnik runway near Rijeka. However, although he didn't manage to visit Croatia last year due to his commitments in the Formula 1 race in Turkey, he enjoyed Croatia's tracks and beauty this year in Istria.

To read more news from Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

After World Rally Championship, NASCAR is Coming to Croatia!

October 24, 2020 -  After Croatia was named the host of the 2021 World Rally Championship less than a month ago, more great news follows from the world of auto racing... NASCAR is coming to Croatia! 

Index.hr reports that Croatia and Automotodrom Grobnik will host one of the most prestigious automotive competitions in Europe, NASCAR GP, on November 14 and 15, 2020.

Namely, due to the epidemiological situation and restrictions caused by COVID-19, Croatia will replace the third race of the NWES championship, which was to be held on the same date in the Czech Republic.

"In such a challenging and uncertain situation, we must be responsible and give priority to security. It is sad to postpone the Czech Republic for 2021, but at the moment, this is the best decision for everyone. We are happy to develop a new event in Croatia with very motivated partners from Automotodrom Grobnik," said NWES President Jerome Galpin after visiting the Grobnik runway.

"The Croatian coast is beautiful at this time of year. Rijeka is a perfect location, and the Grobnik runway is fast, technically demanding, and fascinating! We are enthusiastic that we can offer NWES drivers and teams a new challenge and look forward to the first Croatian NASCAR GP Croatia."

"Automotodrom Grobnik can't imagine a better end to the season. This is certainly the first step towards more attractive and numerous racing competitions for the audience. This is proof that NWES President Jerome Galpin has recognized all the improvements we have made on the track and the entire facility in recent years. One of our goals is to support the Croatian Automobile and Karting Association (HAKS) and its president Davorin Štetner, believing that collaboration is inevitable for the future of motorsport and drivers so that they can compete in higher-ranking competitions. All this makes us happy despite this challenging year and gives us the right to believe that next year will bring some new sports challenges," said the member of the Management Board of Automotodrom Grobnik Robert Žiković.

"We closely monitored the situation with COVID-19 and, at a crucial moment, managed to ensure the arrival of the spectacular NASCAR for the first time in Croatia! I thank Automotodrom Grobnik and Robert Žiković for the excellent cooperation, and I look forward to strengthening auto racing competitions in Croatia!" said HAKS President Davorin Štetner.

The first NASCAR Croatia will be broadcast live on EuroNESCAR social networks and Motosport.tv and Kreator TV on November 14 and 15, 2020. 

Jacques Villeneuve, a Canadian sports car driver, winner of the 500 miles of Indianapolis, and the 1995 Cart-Champcar Championship, will also drive on the Grobnik runway. He was also a Formula 1 world champion with Williams Renault (1997).

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.