Athanassoulas lives in the rally base of Loutraki and is the best-known of the seven Greek drivers in action on this weekend’s sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
He missed last year’s event but will be partnered by Nikolaos Zakhaeos in a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Eco X run by Ralliart Italy, the team which won the PWRC world title last season.
“Having the opportunity to be back in action on a WRC event and in my home town is fantastic,” said Athanassoulas. “It’s two years since my last Acropolis Rally, so I don’t want to set my expectations too high. That said, we will of course do our best to show what we can do.
“Our main aim is to have a trouble free rally, drive every kilometre and put in competitive times in the Group N category. We want to enjoy ourselves, but also make the Greek fans proud,” he added.
Athanassoulas has an impressive history in both the Greek Rally Championship and on his WRC outings. In 2009 he tackled the Acropolis as a guest driver in the PWRC and astonished the regulars by winning the category. Later that year he claimed a class win in Spain.
His last outing was in 2011 in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC and despite retiring on the opening day with a mechanical problem, he clocked several top 10 stage times.
“We want to enjoy ourselves, but also make the Greek fans proud.”