Thu 08 Sep 2022

Recce conditions add to Greek challenge

A mixed-weather recce has helped generate more inconsistent conditions ahead of this week’s EKO Acropolis Rally of Greece (8 - 11 September).

The crews completed their three-day reconnaissance on the back of heavy rain in certain sections of the route, while sunny conditions and temperatures north of 30 degrees are expected during the 10th round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship.

WRC2 leader Andreas Mikkelsen said: “We met some nice conditions. It was a bit a little damper than I expected. But I guess it will get dry before the weekend. Everything is nice, with some new and some old stages. It’s a good mix. This one is a tough rally and you need to survive also. We had a good result here last year and we will try to repeat it.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing star Esapekka Lappi was very clear on his hopes for the weather. He added: “The surface is damp, not dry. I hope it will be dry during the rally because mud is not so funny! There should be no more rain, but in places with no sun under the trees, you don’t know if it will get dry or not.”

Lappi’s team-mate Elfyn Evans said it would be a case of waiting and watching in terms of how the conditions will evolve. 

“It wasn’t wet for the whole recce,” said the Welshman. “There were definitely places where it was really wet and muddy and these places were a bit more difficult, but we don’t really know how much it will change before the start – for sure, if it stays dry and we have sunny conditions it will dry. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Crucially, all eyes will be on the day one conditions. Kalle Rovanperä in particular will be hoping it stays damp. As championship leader, dry conditions will force him to sweep the road, inevitably costing him grip and time.

“It would be nice [if it rained],” he said. “The roads are quite difficult – there’s a lot of loose around on the first day, but then it’s not so bad on the stages closer to Lamia on the weekend.”

The rally starts later today (Thursday) with a super special stage in Greek capital Athens.

• Full coverage from EKO Acropolis Rally Greece will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.

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