01 Jun 08
Four-time World Rally Champion co-driver Daniel Elena has co-driven for Sebastien Loeb since 1999.
Citroen’s dynamic duo last won the Acropolis Rally in 2005 and this year - on their eighth attempt - they start the final day as favourites to do it again.
Elena spoke to wrc.com after the pre-event reconnaissance to explain the stages of this year’s rally. Here’s what he said about Sunday’s stages:
SS14/SS17 Avionas 20.00km
Sunday’s first stage is the longest and probably the fastest of the day. Last year it was very slippery for the first pass because the surface is a mixture of bedrock and sand. After the recce there’s no reason to think it won’t be the same again this time. Like some of Friday’s stages, there’s a lot of tall grass by the roadside which can make visibility a problem - especially in corners. The grass can hide rocks, stones and all sorts of things you don’t want to hit. Apart from that it’s okay.
SS15/SS18 Assio 17.87km
This stage has two parts. It starts off quite tight, rough and twisty but by the end it’s smoother, faster and there are a few jumps and crests. There is a lot of bedrock showing thorough which will be abrasive on the tyres. It’s very narrow in the middle section - barely wide enough to fit a car through.
SS16/SS19 Aghia Sotira 15.20km
The last stage of the morning loop and the last ‘proper’ one of the afternoon is the roughest of the day. The road goes uphill for the first 4km and there are an incredible number of stones and rocks. It’s very hard on tyres and suspension. If you don’t drive carefully and slowly here you will break the car. After the climb the road winds downhill on rutted ground. It’s not an easy run to the stage end. Like most drivers I’ll be happy when we cross the finish line here.
SSS7 Superspecial Tatoi 4.60km
The rally ends with a second loop of the Superspecial close to the service area in Tatoi. It’s a strange stage which will be pretty much just a dry dirt road when the grass wears through. There’s a small jump, but nothing too tricky.