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Acropolis Rally - 1-3 Jun 18

Posted: June 1, 2018 10:01 AM - 784 Hits

Round 3 - 2018 European Rally Championship (ERC)

Live Results: rally-base results or ewrc-results.com
Rally Radio / News: European Rally Championship (ERC) - fiaerc.com
Event Website: Acropolis Rally (Greece)
Twitter: @FIAERC

First stage each day Times are Ireland/UK
SS1 - Fri - 13:36
SS3 - Sat - 08:48
SS9 - Sun - 07:58

BIG HISTORY, BIG CHALLENGE: EKO ACROPOLIS RALLY TO TEST ERC STARS IN GREECE

Posted: May 31, 2018 5:36 AM

For more than 60 years, the Acropolis Rally has made heroes and broken hearts. Throughout that time, its legendary status has remained undiminished with last season’s edition offering the usual mix of triumph – for winner Kajetan Kajetanowicz – and despair – for Nikolay Gryazin, who was leading when his car was gutted by fire, thankfully without injury to the young Russian and his co-driver Yaroslav Fedorov.

This year’s event, round three of the all-action FIA European Rally Championship, is set to be no different as crews negotiate demanding gravel stages in the Region of Central Greece.

Factor in punishing ambient and ground temperatures, the prospect of rain in the build-up to the event, plus the presence of just shy of 20 R5 cars, and the stage is set for a thrilling contest.

With two ERC wins from two starts, Alexey Lukyanuk will be the driver in the ascendency when the exciting entry is flagged away from the ceremonial start below the remains of the ancient Acropolis citadel – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – in the Greek capital Athens on Friday morning (1 June).

“It’s one of the toughest rallies of the year for the cars and the crews,” said Russian Lukyanuk. “I did it two years ago with a different co-driver [to Alexey Arnautov] but we finished early with broken suspension due to the wrong pacenotes in one place. More than half of the rally will be new for me and it will be interesting to start with a long stage on Friday evening.”

Following a blast around the SSS Hippodome superspecial at the Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre, which was built for the Summer Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, crews head north to the fast and famous Thiva stage, the rally’s longest at 30.53 kilometres. As well as offering an early test of ability, strategy will be much in evident.

Drivers will balance running lower down the order to benefit from a more stable road surface with selecting a higher starting position – following Thursday’s Qualifying Stage – in order to stave off the threat of driving in dust clouds, which can be a factor on gravel stages run later in the day when there is typically less wind to disperse hanging dust.

“It will be really tricky to get the proper starting position and there is always the possibility of being behind a slow crew or one with some issues,” Lukyanuk said. “That means you can lose a lot of time straight away. But it’s the competition and we’ll play it. It should be an exciting weekend.”

An ERC regular until 1968, the Acropolis Rally returned to the European roster in 2014 when Loutraki on the banks of the Gulf of Corinth hosted the 60th running, a mixed-surface affair. Now run in partnership with the OMAE Greek federation on gravel only, Lamia has been home since 2016. And following the Thiva stage at 17h29 local time on 1 June, crews will reach the university city for first service from 19h44.

Saturday’s action is centred south of Lamia with three stages repeated once for a competitive distance of 123.76 kilometres. Crews head north on Sunday for two repeated stages covering 81.00 timed kilometres with the finish held in the grounds of the Lamia National Trade Fair from 15h04.

ERC2: Newcomers boost class entry to season high
A season-high seven crews will battle for honours in the category for showroom cars headed by championship leader Sergei Remennik, from Russia, and featuring newcomers Petros Panteli (Cyprus) and Vassilios Drymoussis (Greece). Argentina’s Juan Carlos Alonso, Hungary’s defending ERC2 champion Tibor Érdi Jr and Menderes Okur (Turkey) are also entered.

ERC3: Falcón set for Acropolis first, Ghosh and Muradian begin ERC bids
Canary Islander Emma Falcón will make her EKO Acropolis Rally debut as she bids for more ERC Ladies’ Trophy points. Category regular Artur Muradian (Russia) begins his 2018 ERC campaign after tackling four events in 2017. Chrysostomos Karellis was a class winner in the national section of the Acropolis last season but switches from a PEUGEOT 208 R2 to a Citroën DS3 R3T. Indian prospect Amittrajit Ghosh will be Ford Fiesta R2-powered when he begins his ERC campaign but eager to gain experience rather than chase rapid stage times on only his second event outside his homeland.

And in other news…
*Bruno Magalhães will be playing catch-up in the title fight in his ARC Sport ŠKODA Fabia after mechanical issues restricted him to seventh overall on Rally Islas Canarias at the start of May.
*Four-time Hungarian champion Norbert Herczig starts his third new event in a row for MOL Racing Team.
*Former national title holder Grzegorz Grzyb arrives in Greece, where he finished third last season, two weeks after missing out on victory on a rally in his native Poland by 0.3s.
*?ukasz Habaj, who succeeded Kajetan Kajetanowicz as the Polish rally champion in 2015, will make his Acropolis Rally debut.
*Norway’s Eyvind Brynildsen has previous Acropolis experience to count on from his stint in the world championship and is targeting a podium with Veronica Engan, who last co-drove him 10 years ago.
*Promising Cypriot Alexandros Tsouloftas belied his lack of experience to finish fourth overall on his Acropolis debut in 2017.
*Albert von Thurn und Taxis was heading for a points finish on his Acropolis debut in 2017 only to roll into retirement on the final stage. Frank Christian will co-drive for the first time.
*Young Pole Hubert Ptaszek is showing big promise in the ERC Junior Under 28 Championship, which doesn’t include the Acropolis Rally on its event schedule.
*Greek champion in 2016, George Philippedes made his first start in an R5 car on last year’s Acropolis but a crash on the closing stage ruled out an unlikely podium. He continues to compete under the Team Greece banner in a ŠKODA Fabia, also the car of choice for compatriot Efthimios Halkias and Ukrainian Yuriy Protasov, who will both be in action on the main international event albeit not chasing ERC points.
*Belgian-Greek Jourdan Serderidis has spent the last few seasons competing at world level but starts his first Acropolis since 2015.
*After finishing second overall on the ERC-counting Cyprus Rally last season, multiple Cypriot champion Simos Galatariotis is trying the Acropolis Rally for size having upgraded to a ŠKODA Fabia R5.
*Paulo Nobre’s last Acropolis start was in 2012. The charismatic Brazilian returns this year as part of his season-long campaign with Motorsport Italia.
*Portugal’s Aloísio Monteiro makes his second ERC appearance of 2018, while Orhan Avcioglu from Turkey, winner of the FIA Balkan Rally Trophy in 2017, remains an ever-present for Toksport WRT.
*Finn Juuso Nordgren, 21, is part of ŠKODA Motorsport’s factory team in the world championship and will be one to watch as he makes his ERC debut in what is an experience-building mission.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: May 31, 2018 4:44 AM

Rally Guide / Event Website / Details

Posted: May 12, 2018 4:43 AM

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