The moment of truth for Manos and Kostas Stefanis, but also for all the participants in the Acropolis Rally, has arrived. Following the completion of recognitions, which took place on 5-7 September, all eyes turn to the pure racing part of round 10 for this year’s WRC. As non-classified and WRC2 entrants, Manos and Kostas Stefanis, sharing a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 prepared and technically supported by Italy’s GB Motors, joined Group A of the recognitions, like every P1 and P2 priority crew. Sponsors of the participation of Manos and Costas Stefanis in the Acropolis Rally are Hyundai Hellas and Coral A.E. -Shell Licensee. As for the recce as such, the program of Monday 5 September included two passes of the special stages Loutraki, Harvati, Dafni and Livadeia, which are scheduled for Friday 9 September. On Tuesday, September 6, Manos and Kostas Stefanis made recce on the Pyrgos, Perivoli and Tarzan special stages, which will be held on Saturday, September 10, as well as in tomorrow’s shakedown. The epilogue of the process was written on Wednesday, September 7, with the special stages of the final day of the race, Eleftherochori and Elateia-Regini, as well as the Bauxites, who will bring down the curtain on Friday, September 9. Although there was rain on several occasions, the estimates for the days of the race converge that the road surface will be dry and the hard rubber will be the most popular choice for the crews. At the level of special stages, Manos and Kostas Stefanis believe that the race will be tougher and more demanding than last year, which of course is not only negative, since it fits exactly with the philosophy of a rally like Acropolis. The Acropolis Rally includes 16 special stages, 303.3 racing kilometers in length and has as its focus Lamia and more specifically the facilities of the Panhellenic Exhibition, in the capital of Fthiotida. As has been reported extensively, the beginning will take place on the evening of Thursday, September 8 with the OAKA super special. Afterwards, the crews will compete in difficult and demanding for men and machines, special stages of Corinth and Central Greece, before the finish, at noon on Sunday, September 11, in Lamia.
Acropolis Rally – Itinerary of Special Stages
Thursday, September 8
Shakedown (3.62 km) – 08:01
Start of SS.1 Superspecial OAKA (1.95 km) – 20:08
Friday, September 9
SS 2 Loutraki 1 (17.95 km) – 07:53
SS 3 Harvati (14.42 km) – 08:46
SS 4 Loutraki 2 (17.95 km) – 11:29
SS 5 Dafni (13.99 km) – 13:12
SS 6 Livadia (21.03 km) – 15:15
SS 7 Bauxites (22.97 km) – 17:53
Saturday, September 10
SS 8 Pyrgos 1 (33.20 km) – 08:33
SS 9 Perivoli 1 (17.42 km) – 09:34
SS 10 Tarzan 1 (23.37 km) – 11:08
SS 11 Pyrgos 2 (33.20 km) – 14:33
SS 12 Perivoli 2 (17.42 km) – 15:34
SS 13 Tarzan 2 (23, 37 km) – 17:08
Sunday, September 11
SS14 Eleftherochori 1 (16.90 km) – 09:08
SS 15 Elateia-Regini (11.26 km) – 10:11
SS 16 Eleftherochori 2 Power Stage (16.90 km.) – 13:18 Finish (Lamia Panhellenic Exhibition) – 14:23
Manos Stefanis: “Most special stages combine both tracks that need special attention and can create damage, as well as faster tracks. Consequently, we expect a classic Acropolis. An additional difficulty for us concerns the first appearance of the Rally1 hybrid cars, which due to the extra power they have thanks to the electric motor, will create even bigger grooves compared to what we are used to, on the narrow and slower sections of the special courses. We are looking forward to the super special of OAKA, as well as to be transported in the next few days to… the natural environment of the Acropolis Rally, which is of course the beautiful Greek mountains. We are waiting for you on the special stages”!
Kostas Stefanis: “Although the previous Acropolis Rally of 55 special stages seemed excruciating, the way today’s races are organized and run, however, increases the degree of difficulty as it is a week of excruciating pace that includes reconnaissance and racing. At the same time, the lack of service on Friday makes this particular day very difficult. We are looking forward to the start of the race and the OAKA super special and then… Rendezvous in the mountains”.
More information about Manos and Costas Stefanis, the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 as well as high-resolution photographic material, can be found through the team’s specialized microsite.
Photo Credits: Rallypixels