Septuagenarian rounds of the World Rally Championship are fairly thin on the ground, which is why next year’s Acropolis Rally Greece is going to require a significant celebration.
DirtFish understands a downtown Athens superspecial and a surprise location are under consideration, with event officials continuing discussions with the Greek government and event stakeholders.
Rally director Pavlos Athanassoulas told DirtFish: “As you can imagine, turning 70 years old is a big deal for a rally and we intend to make our anniversary celebrations count next season. We are planning a lot and working with the government and our sponsors to find the best way to share this occasion with as many people and fans as possible.
“We are very fortunate to have fantastic government support. And that support starts at the very top with Minister of Sport Lefteris Avgenakis. It’s our duty to deliver a rally worthy of such support and we have the right people to do that.
“The team behind this rally is incredible. Seeing the event’s name on the WRC calendar for 2023 is always exciting, especially because I know this team will come with something special in September.”
This year’s Olympic Stadium stage was one of the season’s absolute highlights. In terms of demonstrating how to bring the sport to the people, it was second-to-none.
With specially priced tickets, it was possible to travel by tram from the center of Athens and into the stadium for just €13 [$13.5]. The stage was sold out with more than 64,000 families and hardcore fans enjoying the action.
There remains the potential for a return to the stadium in 2023, but it’s one of a range of options open to the Acropolis organizer.
Athanassoulas added: “Next year, we will bring more people. The Acropolis Rally belongs to the people of Greece and they have shown how much it means to them.
“Next year, they’re all invited to our party.”