Jari Matti Latvala takes the Win on Rally Acropolis. Its the Fin’s first win in Greece and his First win for the Volkswagen Team. After the rally the Fin Said, “It feels amazing, it has been a tough start to the season….it took 10 years to win this rally but we did it”
His first win for VW, his eighth WRC win, his first since Wales last September. The fin encountered a few problems on Day 1 with VW’s recurring handbrake problem. But in the morning of day 2 on SS4. Rally Leader Novikov hit trouble on the rough and tough Ghymno stage. “I think we hit the same stone that Jari hit last year!” The Russian driver lost over 3 minutes and the lead. Promoting Latvala to the top spot where, after setting several fastest stage times he held the lead till the end. Winning the rally by 1minute 50 seconds to 2nd place Dani Sordo.
In second, Citroen’s Dani Sordo was delighted with his result. His first podium since he drove for Mini: “This rally was good, and it gives me a lot of confidence to finish on the podium” It was a second podium of the season for Qatar M-sport driver Thierry Neuville, who did a great job staying out of trouble, driver for experience rather than for a result, which seemed to have paid off: “It was pretty good weekend for us, we had a good strategy, the others make mistakes, finally we did it”
Up to fourth with 3 stage wins on the final day of the rally is Volkswagen’s young driver Andreas Mikkelsen: “Still more to come, not been the best weekend, we had our difficulties..we will see” In fifth for Qatar M-sport team is Nasser Al-Attiyah: “I am so happy with the performance of the Ford and the car is working so really hard…we will support the team…incredible weekend for me and Thierry”
Finishing a low sixth place after problems on day 1 after his wheel fell off after hitting a kerb, was Mads Østberg. who’s bad luck didn’t end there after suffering a puncture on the final stage. “Perfect end to a weekend, really! It’s a puncture – it smells like it!” Finishing in 7th was Martin Prokop “Very good…rest of the race was perfect”
Down in a lonely 8th after a terrible weekend is Mikko Hirvonen, the Fin had nothing but problems. On day 1 He picked up a puncture and then had broken steering and found himself doing 3-point-turns on some corners. Then on Day 2 the Citroen Driver suffered 2 more punctures. By Day 3 the Finn wanted to go home, but he fought on and over heated his tyres on the final ‘Powerstage’ and over shot a hairpin. It was certainly a Rally to forget for the Fin. After the end of the final stage Hirvonen said “[tyres] completely overheating, a couple of hairpins I overshot…it’s been unlikely this weekend with many things, waiting for the next one.”
In 9th, After one of the best starts to a rally he has ever had, Evgeny Novikov unfortunately had to settle for 9th after hitting a rock on stage 4 and dropping over 3minutes. The Russian ends the last stage of the rally with puncture: “Feeling quite good…could be a bit more better result here, but…”
Down in 10th, Sébastien Ogier, also having a rally to forget after retiring on the first stage due to fuel pump problems. “Not so bad, some places even more slippery this afternoon than this morning – now we focus on Sardinia!”
How ever In the Power Stage, Ogier takes 3 points by setting the fastest time, with Novikov 2, Mikkelsen 3rd fastest gaining 1 point.
In WRC2 Robert Kubica, after over 2 year since his major accident that ended – at least for now – his F1 career, took his first WRC win and his first win on a gravel rally.