The second rally in this year’s Junior WRC starts on Friday. This time it is one of the toughest rallies of the year – Acropolis Rally. After weeks of preparations, Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Ola Fløene are ready to tackle the tough roads of Greece and their goal is to finish on the podium.
Most stages of Acropolis Rally are located in the Korinthos area, on the peninsula Peloponnesos, and the hosting city is once again Loutraki, about 80 km from the capital Athens. Characteristic for the rally are the rocky roads, the dust and the high temperatures, which makes the event one of the most demanding rallies in the WRC calendar.
The JWRC crews will drive ten special stages of a total of 230 km in their Ford Fiesta R2’s, all run by M-Sport. This time they will compete all three days, but they will not do the seond loop on Saturday afternoon. It all starts on Friday and begins with two stages on Friday evening, and the first is also the longest stage of the rally with it’s 47,70 km. Then awaits another four stages on Saturday and four stages on Sunday before a winner will be crowned.
Pontus participates in this year’s Junior WRC with support from EVEN Management and Tätab, and after winning the championship’s first rally, Rally de Portugal, he tops the JWRC standings with 30 points. Spanish José Suarez and Yeray Lemes is on second and third place with 20 and 17 points.
“It was fantastic to win in Portugal, especially considering the tough competition. Acropolis Rally could be even harder as the temperatures could be high and the stages are tricky to tackle in an R2”, says Pontus, who drove his first Acropolis Rally last year, but was forced to retire on the last day when a driveshaft broke during the fight for third place.
Since Rally de Portugal, Pontus has been focused on training in a similar car and has therefore been driving Team Tätab’s Ford Fiesta R2 in Rally Sørland, where he won the 2WD category and impressively also finished third overall, and in South Swedish Rally, where he after some minor problems finished third in his category. During the past weekend, Pontus and his co-driver Ola Fløene, drove the zero car in KMK-Trofén in Sweden as the last and final preparation.
“We’ve done everything we can to get as much training as possible before Greece and I hope it will help us reach the podium”, says Pontus. “I know it won’t be easy with hard conditions and tough competition, but we have high hopes and we will fight all the way.”
Time schedule Acropolis Rally 2013 (CET +1)
Friday 31 May
|SS1||Kineta-Pissia – 47,70 km||06:28 pm|
|SS2||Kineta – 26,05 km||09:26 pm|
Saturday 1 June
|SS3||Klenia Mycenae 1 – 17,41 km||08:23 am|
|SS4||Ghymno 1 – 17,61 km||09:38 am|
|SS5||Kefalari 1 – 18,40 km||10:33 am|
|SS6||Ziria 1 – 21,36 km||11:59 am|
|SS7||Klenia Mycenae 2 – 17,41 km||03:10 pm|
|SS8||Ghymno 1 – 17,61 km||04:25 pm|
|SS9||Kefalari 2 – 18,40 km||05:20 pm|
|SS10||Ziria 2 – 21,36 km||06:46 pm|
(SS7-SS10 —> Will not be driven by the JWRC crews)
Sunday 2 June
|SS11||Pissia 1 – 11,47 km||10:23 am|
|SS12||Loutraki 1 – 30,14 km||10:42 am|
|SS13||Pissia 2 – 11,47 km||01:37 pm|
|SS14||Loutraki 2 (Power Stage) – 30,14 km||01:56 pm|
Follow the rally live here.