Ott and Martin secure second spot
On WRC’s return to the Acropolis Rally, our first-ever visit to the iconic event, we have taken a strong second place with our Estonian crew Ott and Martin.
The duo had been chasing the podium from the very start of the 15-stage rally, taking a stage win on the first full day on the demanding gravel roads. They were then successfully able to fend off the advances of Sébastien Ogier on Saturday to increase their hold on second place heading into the final day.
Every second counts
With three tough stages remaining on Sunday, including Pyrgos – the longest stage of the rally at 33.20km – crews needed to remain focused right to the finish. Ott and Martin did everything they needed to and ended the rally with their third podium result of the season.
“We haven’t had the easiest rally, but we have worked hard to find improvements to get a better feeling from the car,” said Ott. “We have made some bold decisions on tyres, which has only been possible because of the work of our weather crew. I’d like to say thanks to them for a great job.”
Dani returned to WRC action in Greece, alongside new co-driver Cándido Carrera. They completed their first rally as a crew in fourth place to score manufacturer points.
“This has been a tough weekend,” admitted Dani. “Fourth place was about the best we could manage, so we concentrated on securing the result. This was the first WRC event with Cándido and he has done a good job, but we will try to do better on the next one.”
Our Belgians Thierry and Martijn had their chances of a strong rally result taken away on Friday, having sustained power steering issues that dropped them down the order. They fought back valiantly for the remainder of the weekend, making their way back into eighth place overall.
“We have given everything this weekend and we have fought hard from the start to the finish,” said Thierry. “Unfortunately, there is no compensation for all that work. To be honest, I think we deserve more than this.”
The result from Acropolis Rally sees an increased gap in the manufacturers’ standings as we are now 57 points adrift of the lead in second place.
Our Team Principal Andrea summarised the weekend: “I cannot deny that it has been a frustrating weekend. Sadly, we have had from time to time a recurrence of the same problems which upsets me. I have to say all three crews have done an amazing job, so my thanks to them. I also thank our weather crew, Marion and Hannes, who have done a fantastic work this weekend in some treacherous conditions. Rallying is all about teamwork and all our unsung heroes play such an important role.”
The championship heads to the high-speed gravel roads of Rally Finland next month for the tenth round of the 2021 season, taking place from October 1-3
Final Overall Classification – Acropolis Rally
1 K. Rovanperä / J. Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC)3:28:24.6
2 O. Tänak / M. Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +42.1
3 S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1:11.3
4 D. Sordo / C. Carrera (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +3:01.0
5 G. Greensmith / C. Patterson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +5:45.0
6 E. Evans / S. Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) +6:42.7
7 A. Fourmaux / R. Jamoul (Ford Fiesta WRC) +6:54.4
8 T. Neuville / M. Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +8:41.1
9 A. Mikkelsen / E. Edmondson (Škoda Fabia Evo) +9:02.5
10 M. Bulacia / M. Der Ohannesian (Škoda Fabia Evo) +9:19.2
2021 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers’ Standings
After round 9
1 Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team 397
2 Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team 340
3 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 153
4 Hyundai 2C Competition 44
2021 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 9
1 S. Ogier 180
2 E. Evans 136
3 T. Neuville 130
4 K. Rovanperä 129
5 O. Tänak 106
6 T. Katsuta 66
7 C. Breen 60
8 G. Greensmith 44
9 D. Sordo 43
10 A. Fourmaux 36
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.