The 21-year-old Kalle Rovanpera, showing maturity, composure and above all consistency in his performance, finished the third day of the Acropolis Rally in first place, with a difference that allows him to look almost confidently towards victory.
The atmosphere that prevailed today in the mountains of Central Greece could be characterized as festive, with the crews, the racing cars as well as the presence of tens of thousands of spectators on the special routes of today, to compose an enjoyable scene, with an explosive result.
Great performance and rich spectacle were the main components, with the only black spot being the final stop of the special route 10 “Eleftherochori 1”, after the passage of only nine cars. The reason was the non-observance of the security measures by a portion of the spectators and their refusal to comply with the repeated recommendations of the Organization. Given that a large number of people are expected tomorrow on the special routes “Tarzan” and “Tower”, today’s unpleasant development should concern those who take for granted the fact that, in events such as the EKO Rally Acropolis, priority can not be anything else, despite the security.
In the purely racing part of the day, the condition of the roads after the recent rains gave more interest to the race. Most of the roads were dry, but many sections were full of surprises. Something that made the choice of tires the biggest challenge of the day. Kalle Rovanpera (Toyota Yaris WRC) was the one who “played” and won. The young Finn was elusive and, scoring the fastest time on four of today’s six special stages, certified that he is not in a position to win just by chance.
His performance so far becomes even more important if one considers that behind him are two World Champions. Estonian Ott Tanak (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) and Sebastien Ogier (Toyota Yaris WRC). At no time during the day did the Estonian have the confidence to push Rovanpera.
Only in the last special day of the day did he find his smile, managing to increase his difference from Ogier to 9.4 seconds. as even third place is enough to take a decisive step towards winning his eighth title.
Dani Sordo (Hyundai i20 WRC) failed to keep pace with the first, but was never threatened by Adrien Fourmaux and Gus Greensmith. The two drivers of the M-Sport with the Ford Fiesta WRC have their own battle, with the Frenchman leading with a short head. A little further back, in seventh place, is Elfyn Evans (Toyota Yaris WRC), who together with Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) are already thinking about tomorrow and the Power Stage.
The WRC2 battle between Marco Bulacia and Andreas Mikkelsen, both with TokSport Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo, is of great interest. The 21-year-old Bolivian is arguably making his WRC debut, just 0.8 seconds ahead of the experienced former Volkswagen, Hyundai and Citroen factory driver.
In the WRC3 category, on the other hand, the Frenchman Yohan Rossel with the Citroen C3 Rally managed to get a small difference from the two-time European Champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz with the Skoda Fabia Rally2. Giorgos Kechagias (Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo), for his part, figures in the fifth place of the category and in the first among the Greek crews, despite the problem he faced today with the rack.
Tomorrow, the final day of the Acropolis Rally may include only 70 racing kilometers, but they contain a lot of history (Tarzan) and a special 33 km route that can change the balance.
|1||K. Rovanper||Yaris WRC||2:36:52.8|
|2||O. Today||i20 Coupé WRC||2:37:23.6||+30.8|
|3||S. Ogier||Yaris WRC||2:37:33.0||+40.2|
|4||D. Sordo||i20 Coupé WRC||2:39:02.2||+2:09.4|
|5||A. Fourmaux||Fiesta WRC||2:40:12.0||+3:19.2|
|6||G. Greensmith||Fiesta WRC||2:40:27.8||+3:35.0|
|7||E. Evans||Yaris WRC||2:42:44.7||+5:51.9|
|8||M. Bulacia||Fabia Evo||2:44:01.8||+7:09.0|
|9||A. Mikkelsen||Fabia Evo||2:44:02.6||+7:09.8|
|10||T. Neuville||i20 Coupé WRC||2:44:40.4||+7:47.6|
|12||K. Kajetanowicz||Fabia Evo||2:45:44.6||+8:51.8|
|13||C. Ingram||Fabia Evo||2:46:00.0||+9:07.2|
|14||N. Gryazin||Fiesta Mk II||2:47:16.3||+10:23.5|
|15||E. Lindholm||Fabia Evo||2:47:55.8||+11:03.0|
|16||G. Linnamäe||Fabia Evo||2:48:27.7||+11:34.9|
|17||M. Prokop||Fiesta Mk II||2:50:58.7||+14:05.9|
|19||G. Kechagias||Fabia Evo||2:54:49.9||+17:57.1|
|20||P. Loubet||i20 Coupé WRC||2:55:10.7||+18:17.9|
|21||S. Galatariotis||Polo GTI||2:55:24.9||+18:32.1|
|22||V. Velanis||Fabia Evo||2:57:40.2||+20:47.4|
|23||J. Serderidis||Fiesta WRC||2:57:43.8||+20:51.0|
|32||N. Ziovas||Fiesta ST Rally3||3:15:16.7||+38:23.9|
|35||F. Zaldivar||Fabia Evo||3:36:45.3||+59:52.5|
|36||P. Chatzitsopanis||Fiesta Mk II||3:42:14.7||+1:05:21.9|
|38||M. Diaz Aboitiz||Fabia Evo||3:46:06.1||+1:09:13.3|
|41||L. Athanassoulas||i20 N Rally2||3:57:51.4||+1:20:58.6|
|42||L. Papageorgiou||208 Rally 4||4:04:29.4||+1:27:36.6|
|44||S. Lefkaditis||208 Rally4||4:07:47.0||+1:30:54.2|
Source: Autoblog.gr by www.autoblog.gr.
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