Rd.4 BP Ultimate Acropolis Rally

Production Car World Rally Championship
 
1 to 3 June 2007

PREVIEW

Rocks and heat make for a punishing ride

31 May 2007
Copyright © STI 
We're just a few days away from one of the toughest events on the P-WRC calendar and one of the oldest rallies in Europe, Greece's Acropolis Rally. Run in an area close to the capital Athens, the three days sees competitors take in 21 stages and a total of 344 kilometres' competitive running.

In sharp contrast to the last round in Argentina, the Greek stages feature deeply rutted, rock strewn stages that can cause all kinds of difficulty for the drivers. Add to this the unrelenting heat that's often experienced on this event and you've got a true test of men and machines.

The event gets underway with the Thursday night Superspecial spectator stage in Athens Equestrian Centre, and if last year's attendance figures are anything to go by, it's going to be a packed arena with as many as 70,000 rally fans witnessing the action inside the iconic venue.

The full complement of SUBARU-equipped contestants in the P-WRC will be on hand, making for a ten-strong army of Impreza runners on the Mediterranean stages. These include current championship leader Toshi Arai (19 points), followed by second-placed Finnish sensation Kristian Sohlberg (12), Mirco Baldacci (5), reigning champion Nasser Al Attiyah (2), another Japanese hope Takuma Kamada, Leszek Kuzaj, Spyros Pavlides, Loris Baldacci, Vertunov Evgeniy and Patrik Flodin.

Pre-event test notes:

Due to be run on Monday, foul weather and lack of a suitable road meant the pre-event test was postponed until Tuesday afternoon. Six Subaru-equipped crews tackled stages very similar to what's expected this weekend, in an effort to get the most out of this extremely demanding event.

Nasser Al Attiyah, Kristian Sohlberg, Leszek Kuzaj, Spyros Pavlides, Vertunov Evgeniy and Patrik Flodin were pleased with the fantastic test road that proved perfect for setting up their cars for Greece. Nasser, Patrik and Leszek in particular pointed out that it was very worthwhile.

Patrik Flodin
"I'm really anxious to put what happened on Rally Argentina behind me. Usually I don't retire, have accidents or other terminal situations on rallies, so it was very disappointing. Today's test has gone very well. At first, I wasn't completely happy but the engineers worked everything out and now the car's running beautifully. I'm really looking forward to the rally."

Leszek Kuzaj
"We worked on getting the car as stable as possible and I believe we've achieved that. Now we've just got to keep everything in order over the course of the three days."

Nasser Al Attiyah
"We originally had the normal suspension set-up for Greece, then tried some adaptations which gave us interesting data. We're going to run with a fairly traditional set-up for the rally."

George Donaldson - STI Group N Project General Manager:

"It's great to see all our drivers keen to make the extra effort to get to the tests because testing equals confidence and confidence equals speed. Subaru has a great lineup of drivers for this event and we know that the Impreza is a tough enough machine for these conditions. As always, it's now just a question of that elusive property called 'rally luck'. I believe we have the car, the drivers, and everybody's made the effort to get the optimal set up. We're looking forward to the event."