The Acropolis rally is one of the most important and impressive car rallies in the world. It is a festivity for Greece, which harbors a passion for motor sports. It is a celebration of the automobile, which attracts many visitors from all over Greece, as well as foreign tourists.
The Acropolis rally is a unique experience for the participants, and not only. For the spectator, attendance does not comprise of remaining in your seat, as it does for other competitions. On the contrary, attendance encompasses an adventure in itself. The spectator musters all his senses and stamina, in order to follow the routes of the circuit and to enjoy the competition.
The Acropolis rally is an experience with nature, a contact with all the physical elements of the environment [earth, air, sun..], an acquaintance with the beauty of the country and an endurance test for the spectator, who will climb mountains and hillsides, and who will retrace many areas of the circuit, in pure enjoyment.
General information for the Acropolis rally
- The Acropolis rally does not differ from other similar competitions with regards to its rules and participants.
- The cars which take part in the rally are separated into many categories. Two main categories include the cubic capacity [cc] of the engine, and the extent to which alterations have been allowed to be made on the car. According to these classifications, winners are derived not only from the class level their car belongs to, but also from a general category.
- The circuits of the Acropolis rally are divided into two types – simple and specialized. The simple circuits are by rule on paved roads, and a minimal time span is allocated for the cars to complete the circuit, according to the category to which they belong. Penalties are enforced on the crews, for any time over this limit, as well as under it.
- The specialized circuits are completed only on unpaved roads. For these a minimal time is not allocated, but each crew is timed individually.
- After the time is calculated for each car in the specialized and simple circuits, winners are decided on the basis of which car has the least time in its category. In the general classification, the winner is the crew with the least time in all the categories.
- The servicing of the cars lasts approximately 30 minutes, and is undertaken by the service workshops of the teams in a specific area [the service park] which has been transformed by the organizers, and where all the teams gather. By rule, the car may be serviced after a minimum of 50 kms on the specialized circuit, and not earlier. Service is usually provided after two specialized legs are completed. A different rule states that in the event of a malfunction before the limit of 50 kms is completed, the car may be serviced by the driver and co-driver on the condition that they cannot accept any outside help.
- During a day’s competition, approximately 6-8 legs of the specialized circuit are completed. The completion of the legs must be done by 21.00 h. Nightly circuits are not organized.
- At the end of day’s competition, the cars are guarded in a specific area, the park ferme, where there is no access for their crew or teams.
- In regards to the car order for the start of the rally, categories with larger engine sizes and WRC commence, while other category levels follow. Every entrant in the simple circuit has his individual start and finish time score. There is two minute lapse from each entrant, for the start.
- The responsibility of the judges is to supervise the time count of the entrants, to enforce penalties if necessary, and to make certain the rules are not breached.
Historical facts about the Acropolis rally
- Last year’s Acropolis rally winner was Sebastian Loeb.
- Colin McRae has been declared winner of the Acropolis rally a total of five times [2002, 2001, 2000, 1998, and 1996] -he participated three times with a Ford, and twice with a Subaru. Mike Biasion [1993, 1989, and 1988] and Carlo Sainz [1997, 1994, and 1990] have both been accredited with three wins each, whilst Bjorn Waldegard [1979, 1977] and Ari Vatanen [1981, 1980] have two wins each.
- The only woman to win the Acropolis rally is Michele Mouton in 1982, with an Audi.
Brief review of the 52nd Acropolis rally
- For the first time last year, part of the competition was held at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, and this circuit was classified a super specialized circuit.
- The specialized circuit at the Olympic Stadium was attended by 65,000 spectators approximately.
- Winner of the 52nd Acropolis rally, Sebastian Loeb, had a faster time count of only 1:36 minutes ahead of runner-up Toni Gardemeister.
- The crew “Aris Vovos”- came in 12th place.
- The Greek driver, D. Nasoulas came in first place in category N.
- It was awarded the best competition in the world.
General information about the 53rd Acropolis rally 2006
- The preparations will be finalized by the end of May, and the competition is held from June 1st – 4th.
- The rally will commence at the Olympic stadium, where it will also close on June 4th
- In the rally, 91 crews will participate, of which 47 are Greek.
- Circulation of the tickets began on April 11th and the distribution by the Odeon cinema complexes [Kosmopolis, Starcity, Opera, and Thessaloniki square] commenced on May 10th, during the following hours – 10.00 am – 18.00h. Prices range from 30 – 80 euros.
- For more information, you may call 210-6786000, 8011160000 and www.i-ticket.gr. Payment is made via credit card.
- To attend the start and finish of the rally at the Olympic stadium, one must have a ticket. This of course does not apply for the specialized circuits.
- This year’s rally will be conducted in the Attica region, an event that is considered a world premier, as this is the first time a rally will be held at such close proximity to a major city, as is Athens.
A Guide for the Spectators
- Make your way well in advance, to where you have chosen to watch the rally.
- Choose areas where you may watch in safety.
- Stay behind the ribbon tape and markings.
- Do not choose areas which have been classified as unsafe by the organizers of the rally
- Do not move from your area unless the competing car has passed by first.
- Park your car in an area that does not obstruct the proceedings of the rally.
- Do not hinder the judges in any way.
- Do not leave rubbish behind you.
- Do not light a fire under any circumstances.