Throughout a challenging weekend on Greece’s rocky mountain roads, Kalle Rovanperä showcased his exceptional rally driving skills at the EKO Acropolis Rally Greece, securing his third victory of the 2023 FIA WRC. This event lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest rallies on the calendar, but Rovanperä’s consistent performance allowed him to extend his lead in the championship race.
Overcoming Nature’s Challenges
Greece’s challenging gravel tracks, Rovanperä faced the task of adapting to nature’s wrath, with torrential rain from Storm Daniel adding even more complexity to the stages. However, despite the added complexity, Rovanperä navigated these conditions with precision, minimizing time losses and showcasing a champion’s determination.
Rising from an Almost Greek Tragedy
The most heart-pounding moment of the rally happened when Rovanperä narrowly avoided rolling his car on stage three due to extreme weather-induced road conditions. However, Saturday saw him make a fantastic comeback with four consecutive stage wins. His rise to the top was boosted when Thierry Neuville and Sébastien Ogier faced issues, leading to both drivers’ retirements.
A Dominant Win
With a substantial 2 minutes and 4.4 seconds lead and no punctures or mechanical issues, Rovanperä cruised to victory with ease. He further solidified his dominance this season by winning the Power Stage, beating Elfyn Evans by 2.5 seconds, and extending his championship lead score to 33 points. After his triumph, the reigning champion stated “Of course, it’s a big relief. After a difficult rally in Finland, we needed to come back now, even though we never left. We had a clever drive and still a good push here.”
With only three rounds left, Rovanperä is now even closer to grabbing his second WRC title, setting the stage for a memorable battle for the championship in Chile next round.