We are heading to one of the most iconic stages of the FIA World Rally Championship with Rally Acropolis 2022. And we’re expecting to see a thrilling adventure through Athens, including a tough route, different nature conditions as well as new stages at Olympic Stadium. Yet the most significant thing is that Kalle Rovanperä’s eyes are already on the prize as the youngest rally winner in history can clinch the title in Greece. Or not? This year’s EKO Acropolis Rally Greece will witness an unprecedented volume of rally drivers trying to prevent the young Finn from step up on the Greek Olympic.
Rally Acropolis 2022 route’ features
Yes, it changed. The WRC Greek’s adventure, or the ‘Rally of Gods’ returned to the calendar in 2021 following an eight-year sabbatical. Yes, the roads also changed, these aren’t boulder fields they used to be, but still Rally Acropolis has always been a real challenge. The special stages are littered with football-sized rocks and huge traps. It is like a vintage classic round of the World Rally Championship if you want. Rally Acropolis 2022 remains as tense and challenging as the Safari rally. So, no doubt this 10th round will be one of the season’s toughest.
The route of the EKO Acropolis Rally Greece consists of sixteen tests spanning 303.30km in a total route of 1191.56 kilometres. The most of the route the drivers will pass on Saturday. They will complete 48% of the way or 148,24 kilometres. Yep, that won’t be easy. It will be hard work as Elatia, Bauxites and Tarzan stages were regarded as daunting challenges back in the seventies! Right, as you know, all these features are part of the Rally Acropolis 2022 route.
The service park is based in Lamia. The action gets underway in Greek capital Athens on Thursday evening.
Why is it tough?
The Olympic Stadium has narrow roads with a jump.
The highlight of the Acropolis Rally Greece 2022 season will be the “super – puper” stage at the Olympic Stadium. The event will gather together 60,000 spectators to witness the 1.95km quickfire opener on Thursday. The crews will compete with each other on the asphalt surface — along a narrow path between fences with a jump from the bridge.
In addition to the mind-boggling conditions already waiting for us, it’s usually hot in Central Greece at the beginning of September.
We will start the day in the mountains above Loutraki, then climb to Lamia. Therefore, crews will need to race very carefully at noon since mechanics won’t be available to help. Only the tires will be changed in Aliartos. That will be a problem. Besides SS6, Livadia is the brand new stage for all of the drivers.
That’s impossible to miss.
Saturday’s endurance test.
The longest and most difficult stage of the route is Pyrgos, measuring 33,20 kilometers. Our participants already know the way as they passed it on Rally Acropolis 2021 on Sunday.
Only Tarzan can challenge Pyrgos for the title of toughest area. We will see it on SS10 and SS13. Originally known as “Fourna”, it was renamed in honor of Georges Burgos, an officer of the Athens police, who moved to live in a small house next to the area. His nickname was Tarzan.
Main heroes on Rally Acropolis 2022.
Kalle Rovanperä on the road to success.
What an incredible FIA World Rally Championship season for the young Finn! As a rally winner, he won five out of thirteen rounds on the calendar.
It’s impressive that Rovanperä met nearly any challenge. Thus, he managed to win in the prickly ice conditions in Sweden. Then, Kalle outwitted the tricky fog on Rally Croatia with his co-driver and Yaris WRC. Even the dusty Rally Portugal didn’t scare him with the sands to step up on the podium. The wildest adventure – Safari Rally Kenya and Estonian Kalle Rovanperä’s adventure was evidence Kalle Rovanperä is on his way to becoming the youngest world champion.
Dirtfish has already compiled all the results combination that would result in Rovanperä becoming Greek champion, so you can calculate it with them.
Ott Tänak’s eyes are fixed on the prize
Nevertheless, you may wonder who won the Sardegna Rally, the Belgian round and the Rally Monte Carlo. Well, that’s the point. Rally Acropolis has a main rally driver who will be pushing even harder. His cold eyes and calm mind are ready to make Kalle Rovanperä’s winning way harder. The case is about Ott Tänak.
Two victories in a row for Estonia’s hero, and he is already planning for the third. Here in Greece. We need to emphasize that we are confident he has good reasons. Tänak is adding the run from rally to rally. Thus, no one was sure about Italy, while his triumph in Belgium became the headline maker. The racing experience and the driving skills are on Tänak’s side as he proved he could adapt to the car very quickly. Just remember, that he won championship title in 2019 as Toyota’s driver.
Sébastien Loeb is back.
It may sound impressive enough to make other drivers tense. It’s because Loeb has so much racing experience that even if you add Tänak’s and Rovanperä’s experience, it will not be enough to compare to his. That is how the M-Sport Ford driver started the season, by winning the Rally Monte Carlo 2022. He was the first headline maker. However, the reliability of the purple Puma Ford Rally1 car is a big question. Anyhow, one thing is for sure: the nine-time WRC world champion will push hard, and who knows, maybe he will succeed.
We will know soon, but for now let’s take a look at the Rally Acropolis schedule. Do not forget Greece’ timezone is 3 hours ahead of UTC.
Rally Acropolis 2022 Schedule (local time)
|THURSDAY 8th SEPTEMBER||LOCAL TIME|
|PRE SHOW & OPENING CEREMONEY FROM OLYMPIC STADIUM, ATHENS||19:00|
|SS1 EKO SSS OLYMPIC STADIUM TV LIVE WF1||20:00|
|SS1 SSS1 CONTINUES ON ALL LIVE ONLY||21:00|
|FRIDAY 9th SEPTEMBER||LOCAL TIME|
|GOOD MORNING RALLY FANS’ STUDIO FROM LAMIA SERVICE PARK||07:45|
|SS2 LOUTRAKI 1||07:53|
|SS4 LOUTRAKI 2||11:29|
|STUDIO FROM LAMIA SERVICE PARK||15:56|
|STUDIO FROM LAMIA SERVICE PARK||18:34|
|SATURDAY 10th SEPTEMBER||LOCAL TIME|
|GOOD MORNING RALLY FANS’ STUDIO FROM LAMIA SERVICE PARK SV B||07:15|
|SS8 PYRGOS 1||08:30|
|SS9 PERIVOLI 1||09:34|
|SS10 TARZAN 1 TV LIVE WF2||11:00|
|SS11 PYRGOS 2||14:30|
|SS12 PERIVOLI 2||15:34|
|STUDIO FROM LAMIA SERVICE PARK||16:19|
|SS13 TARZAN 2 TV LIVE WF3||17:00|
|STUDIO FROM MEDIA ZONE AND LAMIA SERVICE PARK & SERVICE D||18:15|
|SUNDAY 11th SEPTEMBER||LOCAL TIME|
|GOOD MORNING RALLY FANS’ STUDIO FROM LAMIA SERVICE PARK SV E||08:15|
|SS14 ELEFTHEROHORI 1 TV LIVE WF4||09:00|
|SS16 ELEFTHEROHORI 2 – TV LIVE WF 5 – WOLF POWERSTAGE||13:00|
|WRAP UP SHOW FROM RUUHIMÄKI POWER STAGE||14:30|
Sums it up
Rally Acropolis 2022 promises to be an interesting event, and for the following reasons. Firstly, the challenging conditions. One of the iconic events of the FIA World Rally Championship, rally Greece was already known for its tricky route as far back as the early seventies.
New challenges added and Thursday’s opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium is one of several highlights of the event. The extremely hot weather is also likely to make our drivers miserable. The entry list for the race features a huge number of drivers, but you can easily identify a few whose involvement will excite race fans the most.
Everything turns to Kalle Rovanperä celebrating his crown as WRC youngest ever champion here on Rally Acropolis 2022, but be sure it won’t be easy.
First because Sébastien Loeb is back after winning Rally Monaco. Second, Ott Tänak is very serious about winning a third rally in a row. That will be the most interesting battle. Besides, Kalle Rovanperä’ teammates in Toyota are fast. Elfyn Evans is that one and it’s too early to write off. Who will win Rally Acropolis 2022? Surely we will know.