‘Rally of the Gods’ extended

Athens Olympic Stadium drew 65,000 fans to The Acropolis Rally special stage in 2022

The Acropolis Rally in Greece is to remain a permanent fixture of the FIA World Rally Championship until “at least” 2025 after the terms of a two-year contract extension were agreed on Wednesday.

Universally known as The Rally of the Gods, the gravel event’s near decade long absence from the series ended in March 2021 when Greek ministers and World Rally Championship bosses signed a multi-year agreement.

Based out of Lamia city, last year’s instalment drew widespread acclaim from both teams and fans as a sell-out crowd packed in to the Athens Olympic Stadium for a super special stage before the action moved to the mountains for classic tests including ‘Elatia’, ‘Bauxites’ and ‘Tarzan’.

Hyundai Motorsport dominated last year, with Thierry Neuville leading home a 1-2-3 finish for the South Korean manufacturer – its first in the history of the sport’s top flight. In 2021, Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera got the better of Tanak and eight-time World Rally Champion, Sebastien Ogier.

“This agreement secures Greece’s place in the FIA World Rally Championship for the next two years and protects the future of what is undeniably one of the most famous rallies in the world,” said Simon Larkin – the World Rally Championship’s Promoter Event Director.

“The Acropolis has a rich heritage in the FIA World Rally Championship plus some of the most passionate fans around [as] evidenced by the 65,000 [people] who turned out in the Athens Olympic Stadium last year. We look forward to continuing that legacy in Greece over the coming seasons.”

First held in 1951, the Acropolis Rally joined the World Rally Championship season in its inaugural season in 1973. Winners include the late Colin McRae MBE – the most successful driver with a total of five victories to his name – as well as Sebastien Loeb, Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Walter Rohrl.

Lefteris Avgenakis – the Deputy Minister of Sports and President of the EKO Acropolis Rally Greece Organising Committee – said the extension heralded an exciting chapter in the history of the iconic fixture. “I am delighted that the seventieth anniversary of the Acropolis Rally is a great occasion to celebrate not only the past, but also the future.

“The two-year extension of the agreement is a result of the excellent co-operation, the trust among the Greek Government, the FIA and the World Rally Championship Promoter, but also of the impeccable organisation we had in the last two editions.

“This year’s ‘Rally of Gods’ will be an exciting experience,” he continued. “Everybody is invited to see the history unfold in front of his or her own eyes and witness the beauty of Greece.”

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