The punishing Greek phases are set to offer one of many hardest checks of the season for the brand new 2022 Rally1 vehicles.
Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera heads to Greece with a practical likelihood of wrapping up the championship which might see the Finn change into the youngest ever world champion.
The 21-year-old holds a 72-point lead over Hyundai’s Ott Tanak and would go away Greece because the world champion if he outscores his rival by 18 factors. Tanak is nonetheless the championship’s in-form driver having gained the final two rounds in Belgium and Finland to cut back Rovanpera’s earlier 94 level benefit.
Rovanpera can be among the many contenders to shine in Greece after scoring victory on the Acropolis Rally final yr.
Whereas all eyes can be on the title battle between Rovanpera and Tanak, the Acropolis will welcome again a three-time winner in nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb, who will rejoin M-Sport Ford for a fourth outing this yr.
Loeb is anticipated to be within the combine for the victory regardless of his final outing on the Greek roads being 10 years in the past in 2012, an occasion he emerged victorious.
Sebastien Loeb, M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce
Photograph by: M-Sport
Toyota’s Elfyn Evans and Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville stay mathematically within the title battle heading into the occasion sitting third and fourth within the standings, however will want misfortune to strike Rovanpera and Tanak to delay their fading title aspirations.
M-Sport will discipline 5 Ford Pumas with Loeb joined by regulars Craig Breen and Gus Greensmith, whereas partial campaigners Pierre-Louis Loubet, gentleman driver Jourdan Serderidis plus Loeb return to the WRC.
There may be additionally a change at Hyundai with the skilled Dani Sordo taking up the third I20 N he shares with Oliver Solberg.
What’s Acropolis Rally Greece?
The Acropolis Rally is a founding member of the World Rally Championship and is considered one of many world’s hardest to beat.
The tough, twisty Greek mountain gravel phases, typically held in searing warmth, have earned the occasion the nickname “the rally of the gods”, whereas many have labelled the rally the ‘European Safari’ such are the calls for it poses on automotive and driver.
The rally made its debut in 1951 making it one of many oldest competitions in world rallying. Again then it was a real 800km marathon in comparison with the shortened 300km model at present.
Aside from 1974, when it was cancelled resulting from an oil disaster, and 1995, when it was an FIA Two-Litre Cup spherical solely, it ran as a WRC spherical from 1973 till 2009. It returned in 2011, however was dropped from the WRC on the finish of 2013, after which it grew to become a European Championship spherical.
Now primarily based out of Lamia, three hours north-west of Athens, the rally returned to the WRC calendar final yr with Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen rising victorious.
Winner Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC
Photograph by: Toyota Racing
Acropolis Rally Greece winners
A complete of 23 drivers have gained the Acropolis Rally because the inaugural WRC version was held again in 1973.
The late Colin McRae stays the undisputed king of the Acropolis having scored 5 wins on the powerful Greek gravel. The 1995 world champion was victorious in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002 making certain Greece was the Scot’s most profitable WRC vacation spot throughout his profession.
Former WRC champions Walter Rohrl, Miki Biasion, Carlos Sainz and Loeb boast the subsequent finest document as three-time Acropolis winners.
Ford is essentially the most profitable producer on the occasion having chalked up 13 wins.
Acropolis Rally Greece itinerary
This yr’s version can be contested over 16 phases, comprising 303.30km throughout 4 days of aggressive motion.
Thursday 8 September
Shakedown – begins 0601 BST – 0801 native
Stage 1 – begins 1808 BST – 2008 native
Friday 9 September (6 phases – 110.26km)
Stage 2 – Stage 7 – begins 0553 BST – 0753 native
Saturday 10 September (6 phases – 147.98km)
Stage 8 – Stage 13 – begins 0633 BST – 0833 native
Sunday 11 September (3 phases – 45.06km)
Stage 14 – Stage 16 – Ultimate stage begins 1118 BST – 1318 native
Dani Sordo, Borja Rozada, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Photos
Acropolis Rally Greece Entry Listing (Rally1) – Street order
Acropolis Rally Greece will characteristic 69 entries headlined by 12 Rally1 vehicles.
#69 Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Halttunen – Toyota Gazoo Racing – GR Yaris Rally1
#8 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja – Hyundai Motorsport – i20 N Rally1
#33 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin – Toyota Gazoo Racing – GR Yaris Rally1
#11 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe – Hyundai Motorsport – i20 N Rally1
#18 Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston – Toyota Gazoo Racing – GR Yaris Rally1
#42 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle – M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce – Puma Rally1
#4 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm- Toyota Gazoo Racing – GR Yaris Rally1
#19 Sebastien Loeb/Isabelle Galmiche – M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce – Puma Rally1
#6 Dani Sordo/Candido Carrera – Hyundai Motorsport – i20 N Rally1
#44 Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson – M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce – Puma Rally1
#7 Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais – M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce – Puma Rally1
#9 Jourdan Serderidis/Frederic Miclotte – M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce – Puma Rally1
What’s new for WRC in 2022?
This yr represents the introduction of recent Rally1 laws designed to maneuver the WRC into a way more sustainable future and to draw new producers. They’ve resulted in Hyundai, Toyota and M-Sport Ford designing and constructing all-new vehicles round a brand new safer, metal spaceframe chassis.
The largest change to the vehicles is the introduction of a compulsory 100kW hybrid unit coupled to the 1.6-litre turbocharged inner combustion engine, the one key element carried over from the earlier technology of vehicles. In tandem, this may permit the powertrain to develop 500bhp for use briefly bursts throughout each stage.
Vehicles can be up 70kg heavier than their predecessors, that is primarily because of the addition of the hybrid system. In complete, Rally1 machines will weigh in at roughly 1260kg.
Gus Greensmith, Jonas Andersson, M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce Ford Puma Rally1
Photograph by: M-Sport
The brand new laws have successfully abolished additional aerodynamic gadgets reminiscent of wings and flicks being added to the bodywork outdoors of the entrance splitter and rear wing. The general downforce created and its impact on the automotive has been decreased by roughly 15% in comparison with the earlier technology of car.
Trick centre differentials used to nice tune dealing with at the moment are banned in favour of an easier entrance and rear mechanical limited-slip differentials providing a hard and fast 50:50 toque break up between the entrance and rear wheels. Suspension journey has been decreased to 270mm.
How does the Rally1 hybrid system work?
Drivers may have the use hybrid energy throughout each stage, with energy boosts activated by the throttle pedal, whereas additional boosts can be unlocked by means of power regeneration below braking throughout phases.
Pilots can be required to regenerate 30 kilojoules of power earlier than one other enhance is granted that can be used the subsequent time they contact the throttle pedal.
The additional 130 horsepower is delivered by means of the usage of three bespoke homologated engine maps chosen by groups, relying on the kind of stage and situations.
Decided by the FIA and occasion organisers, drivers can be required to navigate elements of street sections and round occasion service parks in full electrical mode.
In full electrical mode the automotive has a variety of 20km, whereas its 3.9KWH battery, working as much as 750 volts, might be plugged in and recharged within the service park inside half-hour. The hybrid unit can stand up to an impression of 70G.
The vehicles are powered by a 100% sustainable gas.
WRC TV digital camera
Photograph by: WRC.com
How can I comply with Acropolis Rally Greece
Autosport can be offering studies, interviews and response.
Motorsport.television will even have common highlights each throughout and after every WRC spherical in 2022.
WRC Plus All Dwell will present reside protection from each stage.
BT Sport will reside motion and supply every day highlights exhibits from each occasion this season.
Free to air tv UK
ITV4 will broadcast highlights on Tuesday 13 September.