Latvala Takes The Lead @ Acropolis Rally, Greece - Final Day Action For Tomorrow !

In an eventful turn-around rally at Acropolis, Greece - Jari-Matti Latvala is on the path towards his first rally win in this season at WRC. Evgeny Novikov probably was not so lucky, despite his top form this weekend. He hit the down slope after an unfortunate puncture in SS5 and dropped down to 8th overall from the rally leading position.

Opening stage of the rally, the herculean stage SS1 - Kineta Pissia. It looked like the Greek Gods unfavoured Sebastien Ogier forcing him to be the first victim to retire as his VW Polo R WRC's, engine lost the necessary fuel pressure. Mads Ostberg too had to stop and attend a puncture and lost vital minutes. Mikko Hirvonen was left struggling with no power steering in his Citroen DS3 WRC. Overall it was the top order who bore the brunt of the Greek rocky gravel roads.

Dani Sordo who looks in good sync with his assault weapon, the factory Citroen DS3 WRC, is standing at second overall at more than arms length from the third placed Thierry Neuville.

By the end of Saturday's action, the leaderboard looked as below.
Pos  No  Driver
TimeDiff. PrevDiff. 1st
  1.  7J. LATVALA
2:32:42.8      0.0   0.0
  2.  3D. SORDO
2:33:46.9+1:04.1  +1:04.1
  3.  11T. NEUVILLE
  4.  6N. AL ATTIYAH
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Time for Acropolis Rally of Greece, 2013 & RalliHeart is One Year Young [Online]!

The Rally of Gods, a.k.a., Acropolis Rally of Greece, is already buzzing with activity at the Service Park & Rally HQ, at coastal resort in Loutraki,  about 90 km from Athens, Greece. The rally was first featured in 1973 for WRC and has been active since then.

Characteristics of this rally is its high ambient temperature, very rocky, dusty, with a combination of hard, fast sections also softer, winding tracks combine is surely takes no prisonsers of no kind. Let it be cars, driver/codriver nor its service crew.

The rally has been shortened by a distance of the stages approximately 100 kilometres and is just merely a two day affair this year. This makes it the shortest event being contested, so far in this season.

The Qualifying Stage of 6.05 km on Friday morning decides the running order for day one. Then crews head east to the capital Athens and the famous Zappion for the ceremonial start.

After that, the event proper begins with the marathon 47 km Kineta-Pissa stage - the longest test of the rally - and then a late evening run of Kineta.

On Saturday, the day has eight stages over a demanding 12-hour period. The service for the day is restricted to just one 30-minute halt in Loutraki, so the challenge is further increased due to the limited amount of repair work that can be undertaken, making it a tricky event for the competition to tackle in a more strategic manner.

Sunday has just four stages to tackle and the event concludes with the repeat of the 30km Loutraki test, this year's Power Stage for the rally to make a mark at the finish line.

By the way, RalliHeart turns an year old [young] at the beginning of Acropolis Rally [on 31st May, 2013]. A warm hug & many thanks to all of you for your appreciation and support.

The video below is the teaser from last year's action. Enjoy and stay tuned!

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Vatanen is back to Mainstream Rallying... !

Yes, you heard it right! Vatanen is back to rallying.. by the way, the catch is it is Ari Vatanen's son Max Vatanen. The 1981 World Rally Champion driver is more than happy, excited and announced that his son would be driving his debut rally in about a month's time from now at the 6th round of the ERC, Geko Ypres Rally, in which Ari himself drove like 3 decades back.

Speaking to ERC media, Max, "This rally will be like a second homecoming for me,” said, for whom Ypres will mark his first full event on asphalt. “My idea is just to get as much experience as possible. This year, I’m driving in the Finnish and Estonian championships in R2. In Belgium, I just want to finish: there’s no way that I can compete with all the local drivers. My dad gives me a lot of moral support and plenty of useful advice."

We wish best of luck & many more successful rallies in his rallying career!
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