The moment of truth for Manos and Kostas Stefanis, as well as for all participants at the Acropolis Rally, has come. After the completion of reconnaissance, which took place on 5-7 September, all eyes are turned to the pure sporting part of the 10th round of this year’s WRC.
Due to the fact that they apart from the Overall Classification, they are also classified in WRC2 category, Manos and Kostas Stefanis who are sharing a Hyundai i20 N Rally2, were placed in Group A of reconnaissance, like all P1 and P2 priority competitors.
The entry of Manos and Kostas Stefanis at the Acropolis Rally, is sponsored by Hyundai Hellas and Coral S.A. – Shell Licensee.
Concerning recce procedure, the program of Monday 5 September included two passes from the special stages Loutraki, Harvati, Dafni and Livadia, which are scheduled for Friday 9 September.
On Tuesday 6 September, Manos and Kostas Stefanis made their reconnaissance runs on the special stages Pyrgos, Perivoli and Tarzan -which will be held on Saturday 10 September,- as well as tomorrow’s shakedown.
The conclusion of recce was made on Wednesday 7 September, with the special stages of the final day, Eleftherohori and Elatia-Rengini, as well as Vauxites, which will bring down the curtain on Friday 9 September.
Although there was rain on several occasions, race day estimates are converging that the road surface will be dry and hard compound of tyres will be the most popular choice for the crews.
In terms of special stages, Manos and Kostas Stefanis believe that the rally will be tougher and more demanding than last year, which of course is not negative, as it fits exactly with the philosophy of a rally like the Acropolis.
The Acropolis Rally includes 16 special stages of 303,3 rally kilometers and is centred on Lamia. As has been extensively reported, the start will take place on the evening of Thursday 8 September, with OAKA Super Special Stage.
Afterwards, the crews will do their best at the difficult and demanding special stages in Korinthia and Central Greece, before the finish on Sunday 11 September, at noon, in Lamia.
Acropolis Rally Itinerary
Thursday 8 September
Shakedown (3,62 kms.) – 08:01
SSS1 OAKA Super Special (1,95 kms.) – 20:08
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
Saturday 10 September
SS8 Pyrgos 1 (33,20 kms.) – 08:33
SS9 Perivoli 1 (17,42 kms.) – 09:34
SS10 Tarzan 1 (23,37 kms.) – 11:08
SS11 Pyrgos 2 (33,20 kms.) – 14:33
SS12 Perivoli 2 (17,42 kms.) – 15:34
SS13 Tarzan 2 (23,37 kms.) – 17:08
Sunday 11 September
SS14 Eleftherohori 1 (16,90 kms.) – 09:08
SS15 Elatia-Rengini (11,26 kms.) – 10:11
SS16 Eleftherohori 2 Power Stage (16,90 kms.) – 13:18
Finish (Lamia) – 14:23
Manos Stefanis: “Most special stages combine parts that need special attention and can cause damage, as well as faster parts. Thus, we expect a classic Acropolis. An additional difficulty for us is the first presence of the hybrid Rally1 cars, which, due to the extra power generated by the electric motor, will create even bigger ruts than we are used to on the narrow and slower sections of the special stages. We are looking forward to the OAKA Super Special Stage, as well as to the… natural environment of the Acropolis Rally, which is of course the beautiful Greek mountains. We are waiting all of you on the special stages!”
Kostas Stefanis: “Although the 55 special stages of the Acropolis Rally in previous decades were exhausting, the way in which today’s races are organized and executed increases the level of difficulty – it is a week of exhausting rhythms that includes reconnaissance and the rally itself. At the same time, the absence of midday service on Friday makes this particular day, very difficult. We are looking forward to start the rally with OAKA Super Special Stage and after that… See you at the mountains”.”
Photo Credits: Rallypixels