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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Torrential rain forces WRC Acropolis Rally shakedown cancellation

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Greece has been subjected to flash flooding this week after receiving record-breaking rainfall courtesy of Storm Daniel. Final Sunday WRC crews were issued a severe weather warning of the approaching storm.  

The storm has hit Lamia, the host metropolis for the Acropolis Rally, which has resulted in a number of roads being flooded across the service park. Rally occasion director Pavlos Athanassoulas advised Autosport that over the past 48 hours the storm has resulted within the ”largest quantity of water fall within the historical past of Greece.”

WRC crews have managed to recce the phases regardless of the situations, albeit throughout a truncated and interrupted schedule. The recce of phases 7-10 (Pavliani) was nevertheless ended prematurely for some crews on Wednesday night as a result of fading mild and the rain that has enacted restrictions on site visitors within the metropolis.

The disruption to the recce schedule had resulted in officers decreasing shakedown to a minimal of 1 run for Rally1 crews, with shakedown non-obligatory for different opponents, earlier than a name was made on Wednesday night to desert Thursday’s shakedown (Lamia 3.2km) fully.   

Sunday’s rally ending Energy Stage ( Stage 15, Grammeni,19.77km) has additionally been shortened by 10 kilometres as a result of results of the storm. 

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“Happily issues haven’t been an excessive amount of affected,” Athanassoulas advised Autosport.

“The drivers had the chance to do recce, one way or the other, not in the absolute best situations, however on all phases. 

Raining environment

Picture by: Tom Howard

“We needed to lower down the Energy Stage by 10 kilometres as a result of it was very troublesome and harmful, the primary half for the drivers. The clerk of the course has issued a brand new itinerary and now we have  shortened the Energy Stage, however other than this all of the phases have been recced and the drivers are prepared to start out the rally.”

The rally is because of begin on Thursday night with an excellent particular stage held in Athens metropolis centre, some 200 kilometres southeast of Lamia. Present climate forecasts predict a excessive likelihood of fourth rainfall on Thursday and Friday earlier than the extra conventional Acropolis Rally scorching and dry situations take over from Saturday.

Rally officers will proceed to observe the climate to make sure the protection of drivers, groups, organisers and spectators, however Athanassoulas is assured the rally will go forward. 

“Completely none,” he mentioned, when requested if there was any suggestion the rally might be cancelled. 

“As we communicate Friday phases look secure and as for Saturday now we have two days in entrance of us for these to dry as a lot as they will and they’re going to present a distinct problem to the drivers than what they anticipated.      

“We can’t go towards the weather of nature,” he added. 

“Proper now, now we have witnessed within the final two days the largest quantity of water fall within the historical past of Greece. 

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“This can be a very large storm and the largest now we have seen in years, however luckily as we’re proper now we had folks from the organisation passing by the 2 first phases on Friday, and they’re each in a just about okay situation and drivable. 

“Rain is anticipated to cease within the evening in order that they have 24 hours to dry additional which means that if the state of affairs shouldn’t be getting any worse, Friday phases are secure.

“We are going to do no matter is secure for the drivers, spectators and everyone concerned within the rally.”

Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera will begin the rally first on the street courtesy of his 25-point lead over team-mate Elfyn Evans within the championship standings.

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