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54th BP Ultimate Acropolis Rally of Greece May 29, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Racing & Motors.

Every round of the FIA World Rally Championship presents a tough challenge, however this weekend’s Acropolis Rally of Greece is one of the most difficult of them all.

Since the Safari Rally left the WRC calendar, Greece’s round has assumed the mantle of ‘the toughest rally’.

Durability is often just as important as outright performance. The ambient temperature, which can get as high as 40 degrees Celsius, puts driver fitness at a premium, while the rough conditions of the mountain roads are demanding on the machinery and the crews. The dust thrown up by other competing cars and rocks on the racing line are among the potential hazards, so the teams have to pay particular attention to under-car protection and engine cooling.

The risk of punctures on sharp rocks is also a major factor, and BFGoodrich will offer a super-tough tyre compound, introduced for the first time on the previous event in Sardinia, to suit the anticipated conditions. Furthermore with a nine-week break in the WRC year after this event, all of the drivers’ and teams’ heading to the Mediterranean will be keen to end the first half of the season on a high.

The Acropolis is one of the legendary events on the WRC calendar, albeit one that has experienced some major changes in a history that stretches back to the start of the World Rally Championship itself.

In 2005 there was a major change in the event’s format. The rally had been based in central Greece, around the town of Lamia, 200km north of Athens, but two years ago it shifted its base to the Athens Olympic Stadium complex. The move meant the rally organisers could incorporate some new special stages into the route, using some roads in the hills to the north and west of Greece’s capital city.

For 2007 the base of the rally has moved once again, this time to the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Markopoulo, 30km south of Athens, but some of last year’s special stages remain, mixed with a selection of roads that are new to the drivers.

Related Links > http://www.acropolisrally.gr/en/

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