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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Kalle Rovanpera Wins EKO Acropolis Rally Greece

Kalle Rovanperä landed his second FIA World Rally Championship event win on Sunday afternoon after dominating EKO Acropolis Rally Greece

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Partha Pratim Ray
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GREECE. Athens: The Finnish driver Kalle Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen won the EKO Acropolis Rally Greece after driving around brilliantly in Toyota Yaris throughout the entire event finally winning by a margin of 42.1sec from his nearest rival Ott Tanak of the Hyundai team who finished second in a Hyundai i20 with Sébastien Ogier the defending champion, and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia finishing third. This was Rovanpera’s second victory that came after two months of his maiden FIA World Rally Championship victory in Estonia.

The Toyota driver took the lead after Stage 3 on Friday and went on to win the first four of six-speed tests that occurred on Saturday in the Fthiotida Mountains, building a lead of 40secs. Rovanpera, brilliant at making his way through the gravel stages in both dry and wet conditions finally clinched the title by winning the Wolf Power Stage and claiming five bonus points too.

Race Result

  1. Kalle Rovanperä & Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Gazoo Racing), (Time taken – 3:28:24.6s), Points – 25
  2. Ott Tänak & Martin Järveoja (Hyundai Shell Mobis), (Time taken – 3:29:06.7s), Points – 18
  3. Sébastien Ogier & Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Gazoo Racing), (Time taken – 3:29:35.9s),            Points – 15
  4. Dani Sordo & Cándido Carrera (Hyundai Shell Mobis), (Time taken – 3:31:25.6s), Points – 12
  5. Gus Greensmith & Chris Patterson (M-Sport Ford), (Time taken – 34:09.6s), Points – 10
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After nine of the WRC’s 12 rounds the championship and manufacturer standings are as follows:

Championship standings

  1. Ogier – 180 pts  
  2. Evans – 136 pts
  3. Neuville – 130 pts
  4. Rovanperä – 129 pts
  5. Tänak – 106 pts

Manufacturers’ standings

  1. Toyota Gazoo Racing – 397 pts
  2. Hyundai Motorsport – 340 pts
  3. M-Sport Ford – 153 pts 

About WRC EKO Acropolis Rally Greece

The Acropolis Rally Greece was held after a big gap of time. The last time it was held was in 2013. So a 2021 Rally started with a small celebration around Athens’ main Syntagma Square and in presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who started the race at the foot of the Acropolis. The 15-stage Acropolis Rally starts immediately with a 1km city center street stage around Syntagma Square. After an overnight stay in Athens, the drivers left for the Peloponnese peninsula for a double run through Aghii Theodori. Next, the drivers braced for a 132.56 Km stretch of racing on Saturday. Sunday morning’s full-length Tarzan test remained a difficult challenge for the drivers. Sunday’s finale happened towards the west of Lamia city and ended in the city of Lamia with most stages being held in the surrounding mountains. The 15 stage rally covers a total distance of 292.19km. 

Acropolis Rally Background

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The Acropolis Rally was first held in 1953 and was a founding member of the FIA World Rally Championship in 1973. The Rally kept on happening till the year 2010. Colin McRae won the Rally five times between 1996 and 2002.

Other winners include former world champions Walter Röhrl, Björn Waldegård, Ari Vatanen, Miki Biasion, Juha Kankkunen, Carlos Sainz and Sébastien Loeb.

International Automobile Federation (FIA)

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The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile or International Automobile Federation (FIA) is an association established on June 20, 1904. FIA works across three key interlinked areas of activity i.e.: Sport, Campaigns, and Mobility, and promotes motorsport and road safety around the world.

Coming next in the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship is WRC Secto Automotive Rally Finland in Belgium scheduled on October 01 – 03, 2021.

To catch hold of the latest and related sports news please visit the Sports Section of Transcontinental times.

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