The moment we have all been looking forward to has arrived, as the start of the Acropolis Rally took place on the evening of Thursday 8 September in a spectacular way from Athens Olympic Stadium (OAKA), where the inaugural 1.95 km long Super Special Stage was held.
In front of tens of thousands of spectators, as the stadium was packed, Manos and Kostas Stefanis brought caution to the forefront, making sure to avoid the slightest mistake, which could easily happen.
The crew of the Hyundai i20 N Rally2, that is prepared and technically supported by Italian GB Motors, did not encounter any problems during the short, but demanding, tarmac Super Special Stage.
The entry of Manos and Kostas Stefanis at the Acropolis Rally, is sponsored by Hyundai Hellas and Coral S.A. – Shell Licensee.
After the overnight regrouping in Loutraki, the 10th round of the World Rally Championship restarts on Friday 9 September. This day is particularly difficult, since apart from the fact that it includes 6 special stages (Loutraki 1, Harvati, Loutraki 2, Dafni, Livadia, Bauxites), with a total length of 108,31 rallykilometres, there is no intermediate service.
The only opportunity for the crews to get some “help” will be the Tyre Fitting Zone in Aliarto, which starts at 14:17. There, a mechanic will be able to contribute, but only using parts and spares already located on the rally cars.
Acropolis Rally Itinerary (Friday 9 September)
SS2 Loutraki 1 (17,95 kms.) – 07:53
SS3 Harvati (14,42 kms.) – 08:46
SS4 Loutraki 2 (17,95 kms.) – 11:29
SS5 Dafni (13,99 kms.) – 13:12
SS6 Livadia (21,03 kms.) – 15:15
SS7 Bauxites (22,97 kms.) – 17:53
Manos Stefanis: “The Super Special Stage was fantastic. I could hear the people in the car and that, was a special moment. The “real” rally starts tomorrow, so we have to stay focused. Our main goal will be to protect the car and stay out of trouble, a task that will not be easy, especially due to the lack of intermediate service.”
Kostas Stefanis: “It was a very beautiful evening. A spectacle which confirms the love of the Greeks for motorsport and what Acropolis Rally means. A magical evening, which, as it turned out for two crews, contained many risks for anyone who decided to chase the stopwatch. In terms of kilometers, it was too small compared to the whole of the Acropolis course. Tomorrow is a very difficult day as we will not have support from our mechanics. The special stages will be particularly difficult, as we will encounter deep ruts and stone. Tomorrow will not require absolute speed but a good pace, as the aim is to satisfy spectators and sponsors.”