Fri 28 Jul 2023

New super special to open legendary Acropolis

EKO Acropolis Rally Greece will feature a brand-new super special stage as the fabled gravel fixture celebrates its 70th anniversary later this year.

A founding member of the WRC’s inaugural season in 1973, EKO Acropolis Rally Greece returned to the FIA World Rally Championship calendar in 2021 following an eight-year sabbatical. Lamia remains the base for the 2023 event, which takes place from 7 - 10 September.

At the official launch for the 2023 event on Thursday in Athens, distinguished guests were welcomed by Deputy Minister of Education, Religions and Sports, Giannis Oikonomou, who also holds the role of president of the EKO Acropolis Rally Greece Organising Committee. 

Among the guests welcomed were several dignitaries including the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Christos Staikouras; Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Christina Alexopoulou; Deputy Minister of Labour, Vassilis Spanakis and Secretary General of the EOT, Dimitris Fragaki.

Local government representatives included Regional Governor of Attica, Giorgos Patoulis and Regional Governor of Central Greece, Fanis Spanos.

Those present recognised the ongoing emergency situation in Greece as wildfires continue to burn across the country, praising the efforts of emergency services in containing the situation, as well as acknowledging the challenging circumstances some of their compatriots are facing.

The developing situation has not deterred the planning and organisation of the 70th edition of the rally, which is still more than one month away. As part of Thursday’s launch, organisers revealed that the rally will begin with a brand-new super special stage nestled around Athens’ picturesque Water Square, a hotspot for tourists.

The EKO Super Special Stage, as it will be called, will see the WRC’s stars and cars tackle a 1.48km seaside test one at a time under the eager gaze of thousands of fans. There will be dedicated seating areas capable of hosting 6,300 people with additional spectator areas along the route providing free access.

“This year's EKO Rally Acropolis will be the culmination of the 70-year history of the race,” said Oikonomou. “This year, we aim to showcase yet another strong point of Athens, the beach front.

“It is a unique location, between emblematic points such as the Peace and Friendship Stadium, the Hellinikon, the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Foundation, the Floisvos Marina, always centred on the Acropolis. The Athens of history meets the Athens of the 21st century.”

Additionally, as a symbolic gesture, Oikonomou presented a commemorative plate to Lefteris Avgenakis, now Minister of Rural Development and Food, recognising his predecessor's valuable contribution in bringing the rally back to the WRC and raising its organisation level over the past two years.

“The rally so far has been fueled by the unwavering commitment, tireless work, and expertise of people who have devoted their time and passion towards a noble purpose and objective. Their hard work has paid off, resulting in success,” Oikonomou continued.

“My predecessor, Lefteris Avgenakis, currently serving as the Minister of Rural Development and Food, was the driving force behind all this incredible progress. Without the hard work and dedication of Lefteris and his entire team in the past, I and others in my position would not be able to stand here today and share all the exciting developments that we can look forward to this year.”

EKO Acropolis Rally super special unveiled
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