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Wed 07 Sep 2022

WRC 50: Acropolis in 2000 - Mass Elimination

Ahead of EKO Acropolis Rally Greece (8 - 11 September), we take a look back at one of the most gruelling editions of this iconic rally - as featured in 'WRC 50, The Story of the World Rally Championship 1973-2022'.

The Greek WRC event has been given many names alongside the Acropolis: Rally of the Gods, rally of the boiling tempers, rally of dashed hopes.

For the millenium celebration, the subtitle would have been 'Rally of the Torn Wheels'. It was not that the stages were that much tougher than usual, but the pace was much faster than the old days.

If you were only going for survival, you were already out of the running from the start.

And so it was that Dider Auriol (Seat), Luis Climent (Škoda), Tommi Mäkinen (Mitsubishi), François Delecour and Marcus Grönholm (Peugeot) as well as Juha Kankkunen and Colin McRae (Subaru) unintentionally converted their cars into three-wheelers by trying too hard.

This was not necessarily a cause for instant retirement, however, since Delecour brought his 206 WRC to the finish line in ninth overall while Kankkunen managed to put his Impreza on the podium in third.

This story is an excerpt from 'WRC 50, The Story of the World Rally Championship 1973-2022', written by Markus Stier. Purchase your copy here.

Cover Photo: © McKlein

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