Early Grecian baths

The rock strewn Acropolis Rally stages are known as car breakers but this advance intelligence has not prevented a number of early retirements. As many works entries have dropped out as there have been stages this morning (Friday) with Hyundai coming off worst

Early Grecian baths

Barely had Special Stage 1 got underway when Armin Schwarz's Accent ground to halt with a broken alternator and cambelt. Then, just as all eyes turned to team-mate Freddy Loix, more bad luck hit the Korean team.

Loix describes what happened next: "About 3-4km into the stage I heard a big bang and almost immediately flames came from under the bonnet. I thought either a hose had broken or the turbo had gone so we stopped to put out the fire. I could see the top mount of the front left suspension was broken and there was a severed oil pipe from the reservoir."

The Belgian, and co-driver Sven Smeets, struggled to continue but the car was mortally wounded. "After Stage 2 I could tell that the suspension was coming loose," said Loix. "I would love to have kept going but the most likely result would have been us having to stop in the next stage with far more damage.

"We couldn't properly relocate the suspension arm or stop it moving so there was no point going into SS3. I'm very disappointed because otherwise the car felt good over the first few kilometres. After the last two events I really wanted to have a good rally here in Greece."

Also out is early pacesetter Francois Duval, who retired after crashing his Ford in SS5, Peugeot's Juuso Pykalisto and Citroen's Sebastien Loeb who had engine trouble.

The rally leader after five stages, Markko Martin, smashed his windscreen in same stage as team-mate Duval. Reports are emerging that he finished the run with the bonnet up over the screen. Harri Rovanpera is currently running in second place, with Marcus Gronholm in third, while series leader Richard Burns is down in 11th.

shares
comments
New Škoda WRC car to debut in Germany

Previous article

New Škoda WRC car to debut in Germany

Next article

McRae penalised

McRae penalised
Load comments
How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Plus

How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Plus

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Plus

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Plus

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory Plus

How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory

At one point Hyundai held the top three positions in Portugal, but when trouble struck the Korean marque's two leading chargers, a grateful Elfyn Evans was on hand to see off Hyundai third man Dani Sordo and become the third different winner in four rallies

WRC
May 24, 2021
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

WRC
May 13, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021