Friday | 17 Sep 2021

Greek return receives thumbs up

The legendary EKO Acropolis Rally returned to the World Rally Championship after an eight-year absence last week – and the crews were very glad to be back in Greece.

Heavy rain complicated a recce which was always going to be a tough one with new pacenotes needed to be made for new roads, but the stages, the fans and the atmosphere made the trip one of the highlights.

Event winner Kalle Rovanperä said the tough nature of the event made the win even more worthwhile.

“I knew it would be a tough one, and it was,” he said. “The stages were really challenging to come to for the first time – it was a long week with the recce, but I think that was a strong point for us. I am feeling really good to win Greece, I enjoyed the rally and driving these roads.”

Variable conditions during recce made for a challenging weekend for the drivers

Hyundai Motorsport’s Thierry Neuville endured a difficult event, but said he enjoyed the different style of the Acropolis.

“It was a nice rally,” he said. “For Acropolis, for this event, my impressions are really positive. Like the others said, it was a tough event and a challenging rally with short nights because we made a lot of work with the onboards and then long days. But I like to have rallies which are different in the characteristics – this was definitely a tough one, but the number of spectators and the atmosphere made it so enjoyable for us drivers.”

Neuville’s team-mate Martin Järveoja agreed, adding: “The stages were really nice and the whole rally was as well. From the co-driver’s side, we knew it would be tough and maybe it was even tougher!”

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