A brand new event that has grown with explosive force in just one year, Dinaric Rally is poised to become one of the most interesting emerging rally races in Europe. What started as a three-day enduro-style event set against the backdrop of the Dinaric Alps in Croatia is now a five-day rally race with roadbook navigation attracting over 230 participants in motorcycle and quad classes this year. Dinaric Rally 2021 promises new challenges, new terrain, a freshly designed roadbook, and stunning mountain scenery – but should you race the Dinaric as a newbie, and what can you expect from the second edition of the rally? We caught up with Perica Matijevic, organizer of the rally, to find out.
-Perica, last year’s Dinaric Rally was a three-day event that felt more like an enduro race than a rally. What’s different this year?
-This year’s Dinaric Rally is modeled after the Hellas Rally race, as we’re aiming to become part of the FIM Europe TT Rally Cup next year. We are introducing roadbook navigation, and the rally will kick off with a prologue stage followed by four long and diverse stages (one stage will be in Bosnia!).
Every day of the rally features one long stage with neutralization zones and speed control (instead of several stages and liaisons). On average, the Rally class participants will have around 360km of special a day, the Adventure class will have an average of 220km/day, and the Light class will have an average of 122km/day range. Rally class will be restricted to roadbook navigation only, whereas Adventure and Light class riders can navigate by GPS or both roadbook and GPS. We will also have a bigger, better-equipped bivouac with a food court, all the facilities including showers and electricity, better logistics, and more accommodation options.
-What sort of riders are taking part this year?
-We have several racing teams coming – Isaac Feliu, Austrian rally team, Slovak 4 rally, and the like. However, there is a strong class of amateur riders, too; we have riders coming from 14 countries, and our hope is that riders who join Adventure and Light classes will move on to Rally class next year. We love seeing riders evolve and grow, and the classes are designed in a way that allows amateur and new riders to experience the rally world and progress with each new edition of the Dinaric Rally. This year, no racing licenses are required, but next year, as we’re aiming the Rally class at the pros, riders will need a racing license to compete in the Rally category (Adventure and Light classes will remain open to amateur riders license-free).
-What kind of terrain can riders expect?
It will vary according to class: Rally class is the toughest with long distances and very varied terrain, including some technical sections, rocky tracks, steep climbs, and the like. Adventure class will be a little easier – there will still be technical parts, but less than in the Rally class; and finally, Light class is aimed at new, less experienced riders who just want to give it a go. Overall, the terrain will be very diverse – riders will have fast tracks, gravel roads, off-piste, hard and technical sections…we are really mixing it up this year.
All in all, we’re hoping to make this event as amateur-friendly as we can while also throwing a decent challenge for the pro and semi-pro riders. We’ve got some seriously incredible scenery, diverse terrain, and a great team of staff and volunteers to make the Dinaric Rally 2021 one hell of a race, and we welcome anyone who is interested in getting a taste of the rally world to join the mayhem.
Images: Dinaric Rally
Dinaric Rally dates: August 24-29, Knin, Croatia