'Acropolis Rally of Gods!'

The Acropolis Rally is back!  The special event starts on Thursday 9th September 2021 and finishes on Sunday 12th September.  Prior to the start, special traffic measures were put in place since Tuesday to prepare the Special Route and the Farewell Ceremony for the late composer Mikis Theodorakis at the Athens Metropolitan Cathederal.  On Thursday morning, the areas around the Acropolis and Syntagma Square will be closed to all vehicle traffic.  The rally is due to start at 17:30 on Thursday at the Acropolis, from where the cars taking part will drive to the starting line on Amalias Avenue.  The 1st Special Route (Athens stage) will begin at 18:00 and end outside the King George hotel.  For many motoring enthusiasts from across the whole globe, the Acropolis Rally is fondly referred to as the 'Rally of Gods'.

Eight years after it was last held in Greece, the Acropolis Rally returns to the country for 2021, with 55 crews from 24 different countries ready to compete in the 9th stage of one of the toughest events of the World Rally Championship (WRC).  Greece discontinued the rally in 2013 due to financial constraints caused by the decade-long financial crisis, but the Greek government announced in 2020 that it was ready to support the event in 2021, the country's bi-centennial anniversary year of its independence.

For the first time in its history, the Acropolis Rally will 'storm' through the centre of the Greek capital.  According to the organisers, racing through the heart of Athens will create a unique setting, with the images broadcast to every corner of the globe.  The Acropolis Rally is held on rough, dusty and rocky terrain that include fast mountain roads on the mainland and is known for being very challenging for the cars and drivers alike.  The rally built its reputation around high temperatures and rocky gravel speed tests whose names roll off the tongue for enthusiastic world rally fans, the Bauxites, Aghii Theodori, Elatia and Tarzan were feared challenges back in the 1970's, and they are back on the itinery for this weeks fixture.  The WRC's were cancelled in 2019 and 2020 due to the global pandemic, so let the rally begin!

Acropolis Rally 2021 marks the 65th running of this motoracing event of the World Rally Championship and this year is based in the town of Lamia in central Greece.  Drivers will have to compete on some tough terrain over fifteen special stages totalling 292 kms.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis started the race at the foot of the Acropolis, with a short crowd-pleasing special stage around Athens' main Syntagma Square.  The 'Rally of Gods' ended in the city of Lamia with most stages being held in the surrounding mountains.  The Acropolis Rally 2021 was eventually won by the Finnish crew of Kalle Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen, after leading most of the 4-day World Championship race.  Rovanpera, driving a Toyota Yaris, beat Ott Tanak of the Hyundai team by 42.1 seconds, with the defending champion Sebastien Ogier, in a Toyota Yaris, coming third 71.3 seconds behind.