Why Acropolis was particularly tough for co-drivers

All rallies are difficult, but the number of itinerary changes on this year's Acropolis posed a mighty challenge


The challenge from behind the wheel on last weekend’s Acropolis Rally Greece was obvious.

Nothing that the World Rally Championship’s finest can’t cope with of course, but the Acropolis is a challenging enough rally at the best of times.

Throw in the deluge of rain that battered the stages on recce and the complication of how the improved weather transformed the look of them, and it’s little wonder it was the best of the best who emerged victorious.

World champions Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen.

But if you thought Rovanperä had a difficult job, spare a thought for his right-hand man.


Arguably Halttunen’s role on a WRC weekend is tougher anyway. It may not be his name that makes the headlines on Sunday afternoon, but he’s the one managing the entire operation – delivering Rovanperä the information he needs, guiding him to where he needs to be, making sure he’s there on time and potentially even playing the role of mental coach.

That’s just part of life inside a rally car for Halttunen and indeed every co-driver at all levels.

But the severity of the conditions last weekend meant there were several alterations to the Acropolis itinerary – not least the cancelation of shakedown and the shortening of the powerstage.

Never before had Halttunen received so many Sportity notifications on his phone.

“To be honest, it was one of the toughest events of my career because there were so many changes – I think 11 bulletins so, I don’t know, maybe 100 communications!” the Finn explained.

“Not that much, but anyway it’s a big challenge this rally, for drivers but also for co-drivers because the organizers did an amazing job that we could run this kind of event in these kind of circumstances. There was a lot of changes we have to adapt to all the time, but also you have to do your normal job.

“You have to monitor this all the time so it was also a really tough event as a co-driver.”


So while the driver had to adapt to the conditions last week, so did the co-driver! Missing one of those bulletins could’ve been disastrous in terms of an end result.

Typically, Halttunen managed it all effortlessly. And he even managed to find some words for the Acropolis organizer who managed to deliver a brilliant WRC round in such difficult circumstances.

“It has been a really tough time for the local people – you cannot cheer after a win in these sort of circumstances,” Halttunen said.

“But as for the event, the organizers can be really proud of what they did.”