History of Croatian car racing

The first Croatian automobile club was founded in Zagreb on April 25, 1906. One of the founders was Ferdinand Budicki, a pioneer of Croatian auto racing who brought the first car to Zagreb in 1901 and opened the first business for their repair. A year before that, count Marko Bombelles brought the first car to Croatia. Already in 1902, only 8 years after the first car race ever held, an international race was organized that passed through Croatia - the Nice - Opatija race. The race had a record turnout with 81 teams registered. The first driving license was issued to Ferdinand Budicki on August 4, 1910, and it was he who taught the members of the commission in charge of their allocation how to drive.

The Automobile Professional Federation began operating on 13 June 1912 with the establishment of the section for auto racing in the Croatian Sports Federation, and in the same year the first Croatian automobile race was held - the Zagreb-Varaždin-Zagreb race as part of the Croatian and Slavonian championships. The first newspaper to cover the topic of car racing - the Croatian Automobile Journal was launched by the Croatian Automobile Club in January 1914 and was published once a month until the beginning of the First World War. The first international race fully held in Croatia took place in 1926 and 1927 around Plešivica. She started and ended in Samobor.

After the Second World War, the work of many motorcycle and automobile clubs was united, so in 1948 the Automobile-Motorcycle (Auto-Moto) Association of Croatia was founded. The biggest auto-moto competition was the Adriatic Grand Prix, the so-called "Grand Prix of Yugoslavia". It was held from 1946 to 1977 when the last race was held. Preluk - the track on which the competition was held was extremely demanding and dangerous due to its many bends in the cuts between high rocks and the sea. Due to the increasing speeds that were achieved on the track, in recent years, the Italian newspaper Moto Sprint called the race "Deadly Trap".

The following year, the largest circular track in Croatia was built on Grobnik field near Rijeka, where the races continued to take place.

With the separation of Croatia from Yugoslavia in 1991, the Croatian Auto and Moto Sports Federation was founded, which in 1992 became a member of the FIA (International Automobile Federation). In 1997, the Automobile Association was separated from the Motorcycle Association, and the Croatian Automobile and Karting Association was established.

Rally Croatia was included in 2021 as the last stage of the World Rally Championship, which is a great recognition to the Croatian car and karting sport.

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