The eagerly anticipated 2023 Acropolis Rally in Greece, is set to rev its engines beginning today and lasting until Monday (September 7, 2023 to September 10, 2023).
This year marks the sixty-seventh installment of the iconic Acropolis Rally and serves as the tenth round of the 2023 World Rally Championship, World Rally Championship-2, and World Rally Championship-3. Additionally, it will be the grand finale of the 2023 Junior World Rally Championship.
The event’s headquarters will be in the heart of Central Greece, Lamia and will feature a challenging course spanning fifteen special stages. It will cover an impressive 307.69 kilometers (191.19 miles) of competitive terrain.
Challenging Weather Conditions
However, the rally faces an unexpected obstacle due to adverse weather conditions brought on by the storm Daniel. The competing teams encountered considerable challenges during the reconnaissance phase as they struggled with the adverse weather conditions.
In response to the challenging conditions, organizers have made some necessary adjustments to the rally schedule. Notably, the “Grammeni” Special Route had its length reduced from 19.77 kilometers to 9 kilometers due to unfavorable ground conditions. Consequently, the shakedown originally scheduled for Thursday, September 7, 2023, was canceled.
Despite these challenges, the rest of the race program remains unaffected. The rally will commence with the Super Special route in Water Square on Thursday afternoon, following the ceremonial start beneath the Holy Rock of the Acropolis. Later, participants will head to Loutraki for the Park Ferme and the first night of racing.
🏁 Η Πλάτεια Νερού έτοιμη για την EKO Super Special Stage!
— EKO Acropolis Rally (@AcropolisRally) September 7, 2023
As for the shakedown, it was originally planned to begin at 08:01 on Thursday morning, with priority one crews required to complete at least one pass of the 3.62-kilometer route. However, with the inclement weather continuing and forecasts predicting further disruptions until Thursday night, the schedule remains subject to change.
This unforeseen weather challenge has prompted necessary adjustments to the Acropolis Rally program. The organizers allowed reconnaissance on the Tarzan special route instead of Pauliani, where heavy rain has made conditions unsafe.
The organizers are closely monitoring meteorological developments and are prepared to adapt to any conditions that may arise. The rally enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the spectacle as the EKO Acropolis Rally 2023 prepares to thrill fans with high-speed action amidst the breathtaking backdrop of Greece’s rugged terrain.
To ensure a smooth experience for spectators, organizers in Athens recommend using mass transport, specifically the tram lines to “Delta Faliro” and “Agia Skepi.” The police urge drivers to cooperate and follow traffic controllers’ signals and instructions to prevent traffic congestion and ensure a safe and enjoyable rally experience.
History of the Acropolis Rally
The Acropolis Rally, which traces its origins back to the early 1950s, initially began as a grueling marathon event. After joining the World Rally Championship in 1973, it became renowned for its demanding stages, covering up to eight hundred competitive kilometers. These stages spanned various locations in Greece, including Kalambaka, Meteora, Mount Olympus, Attica, Central Greece, and the Peloponnese.
Throughout its rich history, the rally has crowned numerous world-renowned drivers as champions, with names like Walter Röhrl, Ari Vatanen, Stig Blomqvist, Juha Kankkunen, Carlos Sainz, and Colin McRae among its celebrated winners.