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WRC Rally Greece

Acropolis Rally issues weather warning to WRC crews

Acropolis Rally organisers are monitoring conditions and preparing contingency plans should heavy rain and storms affect preparations for this week’s World Rally Championship event.

Ott Tanak, Martin Jarveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

A weather warning was issued by the event’s clerk of the course, Anita Passalis, on Sunday night following news that heavy rain is expected to fall in the Lamia and Loutraki regions where the rally will take place.

It is anticipated that the severity of the rain and the possibility of thunderstorms could cause disruption to the reece carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The rally is due to begin on Thursday with a shakedown in host city Lamia, 210km north west of the opening stage in Athens city centre on Thursday evening. The rally moves back to the Lamia and Loutraki regions for the remaining 14 rough gravel stages.

“According to the weather forecast there will be heavy rains and possibly storms passing over the rally area next week,” read a bulletin from Passalis.

“The organiser is constantly monitoring stage conditions and preparing contingency plans in case the reconnaissance is not possible as scheduled.

“All competitors are required to secure their tents and other constructions in the service park and to keep their service bays manned at all times should the severe weather conditions hit the area.”

The weather warning arrives following a period of soaring temperatures that have contributed to wildfires.

The risk of further fires breaking out around Lamia and Loutraki disrupted pre-event testing for the factory Toyota and Hyundai teams, who were both forced to abandon and reschedule planned running.

Kalle Rovanpera, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Kalle Rovanpera, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Despite interruptions that forced Toyota to move test locations, Kalle Rovanpera, Elfyn Evans and Sebastien Ogier all completed a day behind the wheel, although the team’s fourth driver Takamoto Katsuta was unable to conduct a test.

Hyundai was forced to postpone three test days but successfully found a safe location for Thierry Neuville, Esapekka Lappi and Dani Sordo to drive. The Korean marque completed its test schedule last Wednesday.

M-Sport Ford, which will run Rally1 entries for Ott Tanak, Pierre-Louis Loubet and privateer Jourdan Serderidis, were unaffected by the wildfire risks, having elected to carry out its testing on roads further north.

Rovanpera leads the standings by 25 points over Evans after the latter's victory last time out in Finland, where reigning world champion Rovanpera crashed out.

The Finn won only his second WRC rally on the Acropolis in 2021, while honours were taken by Neuville last year as Hyundai locked out the podium.

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