After an eight-year absence the Acropolis Rally Greece is back on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar. The mythical Acropolis Rally, or as it is known locally the “Rally of Gods”, will be held on 9-12 September. The competition replaces Rally Chile, which has been completely cancelled for 2021.
The travel and other restrictions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are officially designated as the reason for the organizer in Chile to cancel the event, a competition that would have been held on the very same date in September.
Already at the end of 2019, last year’s rally in Chile was also cancelled, then it was political unrest in the country that caused the competition to be removed from the calendar, and at the same time there were talks about financial problems within the organizer.
“The Acropolis holds an illustrious chapter in WRC history and we appreciate the Greek government’s huge commitment in restoring it to world rallying’s top table. Welcome back!” Jona Siebel, managing director of WRC Promoter, said.
“Its heritage will be recalled by all, but at the same time this is a modern-era Acropolis that sits comfortably alongside our other 11 rounds. That doesn’t mean its challenge is diminished and we can be sure the tough mountain roads will bring the sternest of contests.
“Chile proved a popular addition to the WRC in 2019. Unfortunately, the country suffered badly from the pandemic last year and the situation remains difficult. We’re extremely disappointed to lose this year’s event, but Chile very much remains a part of the WRC family.”
For the Greek organizer, it will be a long-awaited comeback at the highest level, for the country a perfect way to get tourism going again. Details of the city that will be hosting the rally as well as itinerary will be issued after the route inspections are done by the FIA and WRC Promoter.
“I am convinced the efforts of the Chilean Motor Sport Federation and organising team are not in vain and we will have the chance to see another great edition of Rally Chile in the future. Acropolis Rally Greece, which thus gets the opportunity to step into the championship, needs no introduction. It’s a legendary event featuring some of the world’s roughest stages,” Jean Todt, FIA President, said.
“I have such special memories of it, having competed there as a co-driver on five occasions between 1970 and 1981, and winning it as team principal of Peugeot in 1985 and 1986. It’s a pleasure to see the Acropolis return at the highest level of the discipline thanks to the support of the Greek authorities, along with the strong commitment of the organisers.”