The EKO Acropolis Rally celebrated its 70th anniversary with a special surprise. In addition to the usual challenges that have made it one of the most exciting events in the World Rally Championship, the rally was hit by heavy thunderstorms from the storm "Daniel". These weather conditions were unprecedented in Greek rally history and are expected to make the competition even tougher and more thrilling than ever before.
At Water Square, EKO Super Special Stage took over from OAKA and Syntagma Square, creating a unique series of super special stages. The extreme weather phenomena finally subsided in the Greek capital, allowing the 1.48-km seaside super special stage to echo with the sounds of the 4-cylinder engines and the beats of DJ Michalis Tsaousopoulos. This exhilarated the enthusiasm of the spectators. Kalle Rovanpera achieved the fastest time with a narrow 0.3 second lead over Esapekka Lappi in second place.
The event started a little earlier at the Acropolis of Athens. Despite the challenging conditions in Greece, Alternate Minister of Sport Yiannis Vroutsis, FIA President Muhammad Ben Sulayem, and others raised the flag for 69 crews from 31 different countries.
Just before the start of the EKO Acropolis Rally, the Alternate Minister of Sport highlighted the challenging circumstances surrounding the event, which is being held during a difficult time for the Greek people. However, the minister also described the rally as "a ray of hope and optimism for the future", bringing a sense of joy to the people.
The EKO Acropolis Rally has been named the "Sports Event of the Year" at the Sports Marketing Awards for two years in a row. This proves that the rally has not been resting on its 70-year history, but rather evolving and improving. The rally continues to innovate and surprise, earning its rightful place in the pantheon of motorsport.
What if the high temperatures of this season were followed by extreme weather this year? Over the next few days, the crews will be competing on a total of 286.26 kilometres of special stages to prove themselves worthy of the reputation of the "Rally of the Gods" once again.
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