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The Acropolis Rally of Greece (Greek: Ράλλυ Ακρόπολις) is a rally competition, part of the European Rally Championship schedule. The rally is held on very dusty, rough and rocky mountain roads around Athens during the Greek hot summer period. The rally is known for being extremely tough on the competing cars and drivers. The highlight of the rally was the Super Special Stage in the Athens Olympic Stadium (SSS). In 2005, it was announced the Rally of the Year.
The Acropolis Rally has been held for 51 years by the Greek Motorsports Organization Automobile and Touring Club of Greece (ELPA), making it one of the longest-standing in world rallying. Many famous rallying individuals have won this event including Walter Röhrl, Björn Waldegård, Ari Vatanen, Stig Blomqvist, Juha Kankkunen, Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae, among others. Due to the nature of the rally, with a mix of rough, twisty mountain stages and coupled with blistering heat and choking dust, the Acropolis Rally is one of the toughest on the world rally circuit. Cars that are used in this race have to be built with extra sturdiness in order to cope with the fast but rock-strewn stages. Drivers and co-drivers also have to contend with the pounding terrain and high summer temperatures which often reach 50 °C within the cockpit.
In 2005 a new stage was introduced; a superspecial stage held within the Olympic Stadium of Athens. In 2006 there were 2 superspecials, again in the same stadium. The rally headquarters and the service park also moved from Lamia to the Athens Olympic Sports Complex. In the 2007 event, the superspecial (along with the rally headquarters and the service park) moved to the Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre. In 2008 the super special stage was held twice at the Tatoi military airport. Since 2009 the rally headquarters and the service park were moved to the Greek city of Loutraki near the famous Corinth Canal. In 2016, the rally headquarters were moved back to the classic mountain stages above Lamia.
Number of victories per driver (WRC only)
Since 1973, the first WRC season (excluding the 1995 event).
|5 victories||3 victories||2 victories||1 victory|
|Colin McRae ( United Kingdom)||Miki Biasion ( Italy)||Ari Vatanen ( Finland)||Jean-Luc Thérier ( France)|
|Carlos Sainz ( Spain)||Björn Waldegård ( Sweden)||Harry Källström ( Sweden)|
|Walter Röhrl ( Germany)||Juha Kankkunen ( Finland)||Michèle Mouton ( France)|
|Sébastien Loeb ( France)||Marcus Grönholm ( Finland)||Stig Blomqvist ( Sweden)|
|Timo Salonen ( Finland)|
|Markku Alén ( Finland)|
|Didier Auriol ( France)|
|Richard Burns ( United Kingdom)|
|Markko Märtin ( Estonia)|
|Petter Solberg ( Norway)|
|Mikko Hirvonen ( Finland)|
|Sébastien Ogier ( France)|
|Jari-Matti Latvala ( Finland)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Acropolis Rally.|