Loeb Wins Acropolis Rally

Sebastien Loeb has won the Acropolis Rally, his sixth victory from eight rallies this season

Loeb Wins Acropolis Rally

The Frenchman now holds a commanding 23-point championship lead over Subaru's Petter Solberg, who finished outside the points after hitting trouble on Leg One.

Despite having nearly a one and a half minute lead going into the leg, Loeb kept pushing, taking a 3.9 second stage win on SS17, and only being one tenth of a second off Ford's Toni Gardemeister on SS16.

The points scoring positions at the end of yesterday's Leg Two didn't change order during Leg Three, with Ford's Toni Gardemeister completing his impressive drive to second, securing fastest time on SS16. It was his only stage win of the rally.

Gardemeister's pace meant he finished ahead of Loeb's Citroen teammate Carlos Sainz, who settled for third on his final event. The Spainard will now bow out of the World Rally Championship, after a career that included two world titles and 26 victories.

Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm continued to post competitive stage times after recovering from yesterday's driveshaft problems, but went into the day knowing it would be a tough job to get onto the podium. He finished more than a minute behind Sainz.

The battle for fifth was the one to watch however, with only 2.3 seconds separating privateer Mikko Hirvonen from Mitsubishi's Harri Rovanpera at one point on Leg Three.

Hirvonen had extended his advantage to 26.9 seconds at the end of yesterday, however Rovanpera was faster on both of this morning's stages. Hirvonen then hit back with the sort of form that landed him a works Subaru drive in 2004, taking two stage wins on the last two stages to head Rovanpera by 16.8 seconds. It was the Finn's first points since he left Subaru.

Mitsubishi's Gigi Galli and Peugeot's Markko Martin rounded out the points scoring positions. Martin managed to fend off the threat of a recovering Solberg, who finished the rally 25.5 seconds behind the Estonian.

Result of Acropolis Rally, Greece:

Pos  Driver         Team          Time
 1.  Loeb           Citroen       4h12m53.7
 2.  Gardemeister   Ford          +  1:36.2
 3.  Sainz          Citroen       +  2:11.1
 4.  Gronholm       Peugeot       +  2:56.4
 5.  Hirvonen       Ford          +  3:13.2
 6.  Rovanpera      Mitsubishi    +  3:44.4
 7.  Galli          Mitsubishi    +  5:19.6
 8.  Martin         Peugeot       +  5:37.5
 9.  Solberg        Subaru        +  6:03.0
10.  Pons           Citroen       +  9:13.4
shares
comments
Loeb Closing In On Victory
Previous article

Loeb Closing In On Victory

Next article

Loeb Equals Auriol's Record

Loeb Equals Auriol's Record
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Plus

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022