65. EKO Acropolis Rally of Gods 2021
9. 9. – 12. 9. 2021, Lamia • Motorsport Greece + OMAE • gravel 292.19 km • total distance including road sections - 1285.85 km • Other years
"I was not maybe the most comfortable coming here but it just showed that now everything is going well for us and we can really push hard. Big thanks to the team, everybody did a great job. We had a perfect car and also a rough rally and it was running without issues all the time. I hope at least the same speed in Finland, but let's see."
"We were really close at the start of this stage - there was an issue again and a lot of smoke and we couldn't start the car until a few seconds before the start. We are really lucky. Thanks to the weather guys - they have done a great job with the weather and thanks to them we have always been on the right tyres."
"I think we reached the target we wanted this weekend - to maintain the lead - and we actually increased it now. Not an easy one, the conditions were changing all the time, but I think we did a clean rally."
"The weekend was really bad. We made a little bit bad pace notes and we didn't have confidence during the rally. We couldn't do much more than fourth position, so we just tried to keep it and on the next one we will try to do better."
“I hope for a little more this weekend. But unfortunately it doesn’t come. We had a good battle with Adrien, but now there are big gaps so didn’t take any risks. We are 5th and I want to thank the team.”
“We made a mistake, I spun and we have to reverse. But at the end at least I try.”
"There's a lot of ifs and buts in rallying. The feeling in the car was generally quite good but you can never predict these things and you can never say what if. Not our weekend this time, but there we go."
"I don't know. We always try to give it everything and even this weekend we didn't give up, but unfortunately no compensation for all that work. I think we deserve more to be honest because we are putting everything into it and we just get out not what we should."
"It was fun, so many people and so many fans from Greece, so just for this it was nice to come. We had a great time, especially in this stage because it was drying. The perfect weekend for us."
“Looking good for the championship. A great result for the team. The car was perfect the whole weekend. Very happy for the performance.”
“I am very pleased for our job this weekend. I am thankful for the team and all the people around me. Today Andreas was faster, but we have a very good pace in this Rally and we are happy that we get the car back home without problems.”
"It's okay. A lot of things to work with, but okay, at least we are on the finish. I have no special comments for it."
"Very happy. I am trying to be in a good rhythm without taking any risks. I tried to be consistent in my driving and driving around every stone, so it's working well."
"It was very nice. At the end we were sliding a lot because we don't have too much grip. I don't know how Andreas is going, but I am pretty happy with my stage here and we will see if we can grab as much points as we can in the power stage."
"It was really difficult. We were thinking it's a bit more dry and it was really muddy in the forest. With the hard tyres at the front it was maybe the most difficult stage I have done this weekend, it didn't work at all."
"Good stage - it was not disturbing so much, just a bit under visibility. Basically I had no control of the wipers and in the previous stage it was raining."
"All okay. Now we are just trying to go through and waiting for the power stage - that will be the last push we need to have for this rally."
"I feel quite relaxed. One stage more and it's over. We are all the weekend just trying to get the fourth position, so now we will continue like this."
"Thankfully there's not as much to fight for, so we don't have to be in a battle. The notes in this stage and the last one were shocking - I'm driving more on sight than I am on my pace notes."
"No grip at all on this last section, and also the notes were a bit brave in places. We wrote them in thick fog, so a few surprises in there."
"I had a good stage. Quite tricky in there with very slippery sections, but I did my best. Obviously a lot of cleaning, especially towards the end, but I couldn't go any faster."
"The longest! It's tricky and it's also muddy, so there are some places where there can be some dramas. We had a clean run and one of the best for us."
"We have been late. We had an engine issue on the road section, so we needed to fix it before the stage. We noticed only before the stage, so we lost a lot of time [with the time penalty] and lost the fight for sure. It was the spark plugs. We only changed that. We tried to have a clean drive here."
"I was pushing a lot. But not too much I just enjoyed the driving and I think our pace notes and everything is really well-prepared. I had a good feeling in the car and pushed quite a lot. The beginning was difficult, there was much less grip than we thought and with the hard [tyres] it was tricky."
"For us, it's okay, but we are carrying some electrical issue so I am trying to manage at the moment. It's far from perfect."
"Tricky conditions - at the beginning it was very low grip. Wrong tyre choice for sure, full softs would have been best, but we didn't know it was going to rain."
"It's a nice stage, and the grip I liked. But in some corners I lost a lot of time with the pace notes. When the stage is in perfect condition to push it's so nice, but I don't want to make a stupid mistake also."
"It wasn't a good stage. I was struggling to find a line and the grip. Not good enough."
"It started off pretty bad - not the ideal tyre choice for there. Really quite mixed grip, like expected, but it still doesn't make it any easier."
"So many places to discover - it was a hell of a stage. Towards the end, my pace notes were too optimistic so I didn't trust anymore and I slowed down the rhythm. It's really tricky in there, in many places the grip is lower than what you can see."
I didn't expect to be first [on the road], but it's really muddy at the beginning and also the end is not so good. The grip is variable, so you don't have the confidence. The last part is more fun, and that's it."
"It was so fun. The conditions are quite dry, so it's maximum fun. There are so many fans in Greece that love rally, you don't imagine. It's fantastic."
"I think the feeling was very good. I was enjoying a lot and we were pushing. Tomorrow is still a long day. The morning loop is the longest of the rally, so there is still a lot of kilometres to do."
"I have tried to drive fast, but not over the limit. Marco is driving very well, but I don't want to risk more than this because we have a championship to think about as well. We should have good tyres for tomorrow."
"I managed to do some changes which finally helped something. I felt the car a bit more playful now and the tyre choice was good."
"Of course, I am quite happy. I think we did a bit of wrong set-up choice for the afternoon. We changed something to gain a bit of protection and we lost quite a bit of traction. I was pushing here a lot, and the grip was not good. It was not easy, but at least we are at the end of the day and let's see what we can do tomorrow."
"All okay. I think the afternoon loop was good for us. It was a good rhythm, and we are still following our plan. So far, so good."
"No issues. It was a clean stage for us. It wasn’t the perfect day, but we are learning and taking a lot of experience on this event."
"I don't know. Honestly, I am a little bit slow, but not that much. We made some changes to the car before to try, but I think it's not working very well."
"I just didn't do a good stage. I couldn't find the rhythm on the first pass, and even with the changes I couldn't find a rhythm on the second."
"It was quite tricky in places, but it was okay. I got caught out a few times by this very polished clay and lost the rear, but it's all okay."
"I had a good stage. In the position we are, with our goal to catch the Rally2 cars, I did a good drive. I am happy with that."
"Unfortunately I lost a bit of time there. I put in my pace notes that it was slippery, but I was surprised even more. It's a bit tricky, this one."
"Let's see. Not happy with this stage. It was difficult with two spare wheels - a bit more difficult than I was expecting to be honest. In the slow and narrow parts it felt a bit lazy."
"It's okay. I think we had a good tyre choice. It was a little bit on the limit, but we managed okay."
"It's been a good stage. I enjoyed it more than this morning - the grip was more consistent and the car was fun to drive."
"The stage was okay, I didn't take any risks. A little bit better."
"Honestly, we changed something on the set-up during service and it's much better. It was the differentials. It looks to be better, but we need to have a look on the second stage."
"It was quite different to this morning. Kind of slippery in places, but I didn't have the best run. I'm pretty sure softs [tyres] would have been the better option in there."
"Pretty tricky now on the hard tyre. It's polished quite a lot now so it's not quite so abrasive and actually really difficult to gain confidence."
"The stage was drier than expected to be honest. I expected it to be more damp in the last part. I was on a crossed tyre choice and at the end it was overheating a little. Okay, we are here, and one more stage to go."
"It's much better with the grip, so it's much more enjoyable. All the parts where it was muddy are much better."
"I feel good. Especially when this was the hardest stage of the loop for me. At the beginning, I didn't have any pace or rhythm, so it was difficult. But after that I managed to find the rhythm a bit and I tried to save the car a bit because it's rough out there. I think this one is going to be rough second time. The first one of the loop will be quite okay, but this will be tough."
"Still tricky. It changed a lot compared to recce. I was hesitating a lot in the stage but so far so good. We are keeping to the plan and trying not to take too much risk."
"I didn’t have the best stage to be honest. Very changeable grip, so I probably didn't take the risk needed for a good stage in there."
"I didn't expect it to be so muddy in places. Two softs [tyres] in there would have been a better option, but I didn't have a good stage in there. I struggled to find the rhythm and I had one big moment. Thankfully there was nothing on the inside, or that would have been a big plane crash."
"It was really difficult. The grip was changing a lot and I had two hot moments under braking. It's really difficult to have the confidence on these kinds of conditions. I wasn't happy with my pace notes, but I was enjoying also."
"The stage is completely different and we tried soft tyres to see what is happening. We are in the middle of nothing and I was driving very bad in this stage."
"Some muddy parts, but it passed quite fast so it's not really tricky. It's a nice stage - one of the most beautiful ones from my point-of-view."
"Really inconsistent grip and to be honest I have no lines at all. I don't know what the guys in front are doing, but I can't see any lines and I feel like I am first on the road. I was a bit optimistic and I missed the braking and stalled."
"You have some parts where it's really easy to do a mistake under braking, and at the end it was very slippery with no grip."
"The moment was a huge one. I have to say we were lucky to escape and that there was nothing in the ditch. It was maybe a bit too much from the pace notes, I was pushing a bit too much. I tried to be a bit more careful after that."
"The two guys behind have been always faster so far. It's okay at the moment, we keep doing our job. For the championship, it's perfect where we are right now."
"This one was quite okay. It's a nice stage."
"It's cleaning, but that's rallying. I had a spin two thirds of the way through the stage - I was too fast in a braking right into a hairpin left. Thankfully I managed to turn it around and only lost maybe three seconds."
"The car was moving a lot from the rear and when I go a bit out of line it's impossible to push the car straight. I don't have the confidence. We are a little bit in the middle of nothing, but I will try to continue to push a bit."
"Lots of cleaning and a challenging stage. It's quite flowing, but not easy because you are always at high speed and the grip is quite low. I am really only focussing on trying to catch the Rally2 cars to get in the points."
"It's going to be faster with every car I think. As expected really."
"I am feeling good. It was a nice tyre choice, so thanks to my engineer also because he was supporting me. It was a really difficult two stages - like now when I had the hards on the front, in the mud it was tricky, but I was pushing to try and gain everything I could in the other places."
"A difficult stage for me again. I struggled quite a lot with the grip."
"It was difficult. In the second part, the grip dropped so much that it made it feel like a puncture, but it's just the surface."
"The first half was good, but once we got through the forest section, [the tyres] were gone. The last half of the stage was just purely manic and it was very tricky."
"I went straight in a barrier in a slow corner, It was quite tight and I just lost the grip. It probably is the same for everybody, but it was really difficult to drive - there is no grip."
"I was trying to be clean because it was really slippery. It's difficult to manage to be clean and brake in the place. I don't know the time. I was feeling okay, but there was no grip at all in the car."
"The grip was better in the previous one, but at the end it was like driving on ice. I had no grip. Very, very difficult at the end."
"No problem with the dust, but lots of cleaning in the stage. I had to take it with the right approach. Two hard tyres on the car wasn't so good in the beginning, but towards the end it was working a bit better. I just had a clean run, and obviously making the line for the guys behind."
"We're obviously trying, but the grip is so, so low. Coming down the hill for the last half, I was really surprised by that."
"It was a nice stage. Enjoyable. Very twisty, but grip was really good. That was good fun."
"It was a clean run. On the last section I don't know if I am too slow. We will see on the times, but I am happy with the car and we need to continue like this."
"Our tyre package was not the right one for this. In the beginning I could use the hards quite okay, but in the middle and last sections where it was really slow, I was struggling with the hards. I tried to give it a big push and the time looks good, so it's nice."
"Quite surprised at the time. I don't know - I really struggled and was just driving through but obviously it worked. Not a good improvement from yesterday."
"It was pretty damp in this one. The ideal choice would be full softs [tyres] in there for sure, but we don't have many for the rally, so that's the bigger question."
"It's okay. Very difficult at the end of the stage - really slow and it's difficult to keep the rhythm and the car in the line. It's difficult to calculate the speed."
"It was really difficult. The grip was changing all the time and I didn't take the confidence in the stage. I have never spent so much time in first gear in a stage, so it was really, really slow!"
"It seemed better than yesterday. Still not great - in the twisty sections I'm sometimes struggling with the rhythm."
"The confidence was there yesterday after the problem, but this stage is a never-ending stage. Very twisty and very slow towards the end. I had to choose some hard tyres, which I think is not the best for this kind of stage."
"It was quite okay in some parts, but the middle of the stage is like ice. It's very easy to do a mistake."
"We had a bad day. Nothing was working - lots of problems and issues. I am really proud of the job I have done to fix the car and get it going again. I think I got a red flag from the marshal before Loubet went off. It was difficult to see with lots of spectators around. We stopped to check they were okay and they should be coming soon."
"I am struggling with the set-up since the issue on the first stage. It's been quite a strong day, we had no issues with the car. We just need to find different set-ups for different stages. It's not easy, but it's good knowledge for me."
"It was okay. A good day with no drama, so it's fine. This stage was not so good, so I think the time is bad. Tomorrow is a long day and it's all okay."
"There's not a lot somebody can do when it's like this. We tried everything we can, but unfortunately it's like it is today. Now we can get back to the service park and sort it for tomorrow."
"It's not been a good day at the office, and I think the damper has lost all its oil in that one as well. Glad to see the end of the day and we'll go again for tomorrow."
"Today I really struggled. I tried really hard on this one but I had no feeling - I can't go through the whole rally like this. It's difficult, but I will keep pushing."
"The feeling is quite okay. Hopefully the time is good, and let's see what we can do for tomorrow. I think we need to change the set-up a bit."
"I think I can be really happy with this day, I did everything I could and we managed to stay out of trouble. It's been a really good day. This one was pretty loose and the profile is really fast, but hopefully it won't cost us too much time."
"It's good. I thought we were going to be slower because I was struggling a lot to find the right technique for this stage because it's very different compared to the other ones."
"Fix is a big word, but at least it's driveable! The pipe was broken. I was able to glue it, but still we have to refill oil every time and we couldn't do it in one. It's not easy - some electrical issues make it even more difficult."
"We had two slow punctures and I have no spare wheel, so I was careful."
"It wasn’t too bad, but I had some understeer in the dirty parts. On the dry, it was better with the hard [compound tyres]. I was a bit careful in some places, but it's not a bad stage and for sure I was enjoying a lot."
"In some places you have a lot of grip and in other places there is no grip at all. The time is good but in some places it was difficult to read the grip."
"I had a spin quite early on. I turned in a bit too early and it just pulled me round. Not a good stage, and I think I had a rear left puncture at the end."
"I am really struggling with the car today, I am trying my best but it's not too enjoyable."
“I am not surprised with the time. In the hard compound was difficult in this conditions. The grip was very high in some places."
"A few hours before, it would have been really good to be in front [on the road], but now unfortunately it has dried out too much. I struggled with the car - the grip was inconsistent."
"It's a big mess. We have a lot of technical issues from this morning, and now the power steering as well. A day to forget. We keep fighting - there are two more stages to go today and we won't give up."
power steering issue
"I had a puncture..."
"Really difficult. Really bad conditions in the stage. I could push more, but you can feel the car is taking all the rocks."
"It was really tough. It was really rough, so some places we were enjoying, but I would say 75 per cent was really hard. It's part of the rally and it's what were expecting coming here."
"I don't think there's a lot we can do at the moment, but we try."
"I think there's some damage on the front fight. I’m not sure where it came from, maybe a puncture."
"Challenge is good. I did change the set-up - it's a bit more rough now."
"It's okay. Even though it's the second loop, there is quite a lot of cleaning after the small cars. I tried to follow Seb's line, but it's not so easy all the time. A clean run."
"Extremely rough, like expected. I didn't really push on this one."
"It's fine. I am going super-slow, just making sure the tyres stay away from punctures. You never know because there are so many rocks everywhere. I think it's the right tactic for this rally."
"In a big compression, I had a hard point but nothing big. I think one [spare tyre] was enough."
"Maybe the road was cleaning a little bit more. I was pushing too much maybe in the first stage. We need to keep going and everything will become better."
"It's the same here. I could have dealt with it a bit better on the first one and I tried to deal with it here. The rear is hard to keep in a straight line, but I'm doing the best I can."
"In the twisty [sections], the engine is stalling as normal. I struggled to manage it, and also the temperature feels it is overheating a bit, so it's quite difficult to drive at the moment."
"It was a bit better now. I saw the tyre wear after the first stage and I could know and manage what to do. I tried to push a bit. Let's see what we can do."
"Some issues... we need to go and see if we can sort something.
"I did my best. I am not 100 per cent confident with the behaviour of the car. Sometimes I lose the rear and sometimes I lose the front. We did some changes and it felt a little bit better, but it’s not enough."
"My performance so far I am pretty happy with."
"It was okay, it was a nice one so we will continue and try to enjoy. I think we have to be a bit more harder with the setup."
"Good feeling in there - you can't push 100% in stages like this so it's all about trying to driving cleverly - that's how it is at the Acropolis."
"Everything was fine. I feel I am going super-slow, but I am trying to take care of the car so it was good enough."
"It's rough in the stage. You really need a tidy drive, but I was struggling a bit with the set-up. I hope we will find something for the next stage."
"All good. It's very slippery, it's not cleaning that much. For me, we could use softs [tyres] here, but we don't have a lot of soft tyres."
"There wasn't much grip and the second spare [wheel] was tricky. I couldn't find a rhythm and I just couldn't keep a clean line. Not a good stage."
"A clean stage, no troubles. Next time it will probably be a bit more rough, so we will need to adjust [the set-up] for sure."
"It was okay. Tricky conditions with the grip with this tyre. I still have to think how to drive with the car and the tyre and not use it too much. Let's see how the tyre wear is and see how we are."
"I wasn't very confident, and I was losing the rear quite a lot. I missed a bit of speed, I could feel it in the stage. We are carrying two spare wheels and it's very twisty in there and the grip is quite low, so the car was sliding quite a lot."
"Pretty low [grip] to be honest. It was not so easy to follow Seb's lines either, they were quite faint."
"Extremely slippery. I did everything I can, but unfortunately I think it will be very costly in time."
"It's always good to get off to a nce start, even if it’s very short. It's good to start well."
"I love Greece, it's a beautiful country. I am really happy to come back on these roads. We have a job to open the road first tomorrow, but we will do our best with the situation because it's a rally I like."
"We have seen a lot of different conditions during recce, but it will be a tough event for man and material. We need to keep it clean and tidy. We are looking forward for the fight and we enjoyed that stage. It's good to see the people back."
"The roads at the first day on the recce were incredible. It was difficult to see the nice roads as the weather was tricky. It will be a big challenge."
"It's really nice. After a long time it’s nice to drive for the people and show what we do with the cars."
"The stage was okay. Tomorrow is very difficult stages and we will try to do our best."
"It's been in my top three rallies to do before I die! All good. We'll see what tomorrow brings, but it looks fun."
"We have a lot of spectators, so it's really nice. It was a bit too short, but still enjoyable! The biggest challenge tomorrow will be to play with the road conditions. I think the most difficult will be Saturday and Sunday."
"It's really great to be back to a big city and I always enjoy that. I tried to be clean and fast but entertaining. I think the rally has changed a lot. Friday is similar to what we have seen in the past, but Saturday and Sunday is like a new rally. We will see during the weekend, but I am looking forward to it."
"I am sure it will be a good fight this weekend. We enjoyed that stage - tomorrow the proper action starts and we are looking forward to the challenge."
"It was really slippery. I was surprised, but it was nice. It's amazing to see all of these people around."
"I am comparing this rally like Turkey, so we will use our experience of two years in Turkey and let's see what happens."
"I am quite excited. I am happy to come back behind the wheel and the new car is a big change for me, so I will be working on my pace."
"It was really fun. There's a lot of people here and it's nice to drive in the city stage."
"It's perfect. It was such a crowd here and everybody was cheering. I hope we did a good show for the fans."
"It was still okay! During the recce I thought it was complicated and very narrow."