Ott Tänak was third in the initial test at the WRC EKO Acropolis Rally Greece 2021, round nine of the 2021 WRC season, on Thursday morning.
Conditions were comparatively unusual for the location, Athens, being cold, wet and muddy. The test stage is all that takes place Thursday and was held in the morning rather than the evening as with many WRC events. The teams relocate to the ancient city of Lamia, about 200km from the capital, for the rest of the event, Friday to Sunday.
Finland's Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota) was first with a time of 3.14.3, followed by Tänak's teammate (3.17.0) and then the Estonian himself, together with co-driver and compatriot Martin Järveoja (3.17.5).
Rovanperä may have used softer tires, ERR's sports portal reports.
The Acropolis Rally has returned after an eight-year absence from the WRC calendar, and is also marking its 70th anniversary this year.
The conditions are usually dry and dusty as per a regular Greek summer, but while the rocks and boulders on the course remain, conditions may continue to be wetter and may suit the Estonian in that respect. Rain is forecast for Athens Friday, though most of the race centers on Lamia in the center of the country, where the wet weather may hold off until the final day of the race Sunday.
Acropolis rally Itinerary, with distances, start time (Estonian time) and completed stages and their winners in italics:
Test 4,25 km 8.01 ROVANPERÄ
SS1 Cosmote 5G Athens Stage 0,98 km 18.08
Friday, September 10:
SS2 Aghii Theodori 1 17.54 km 10.18
SS3 Loutraki 19.40 km 11.11
SS4 Aghii Theodori 2 17.54 km 13.24
SS5 Thiva 23.27 km 15.47
SS6 Elatia 11.65 km 17.40
Saturday, September 11:
SS7 Pavliani 1 24.25 km 8.32
SS8 Gravia 24.81 km 9.57
SS9 Bauxites 22.97 km 11.52
SS10 Eleftherochori 1 18.14 km 13.08
SS11 Pavliani 2 24.25 km 16.26
SS12 Eleftherochori 2 18.14 km 18.08
Sunday, September 12:
SS13 Tarzan 1 23.37 km 8.08
SS14 Pyrgos 33.20 km 9.51
SS15 Tarzan 2 (PK) 12.68 km 13.18
Editor: Andrew Whyte