Nascar Returns to Croatia this Month at Grobnik Racetrack Near Rijeka

Daniela Rogulj

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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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