Acropolis : Kronos Citroen WRT - Preview
Eighth and last round of the first half of the championship before a twomonth break, the Greek event offers with a completely new rally route and – apparently – tougher, a real challenge to the FIA World Rally Championship's teams.
the ‘Manufacturers' classification, the Kronos Total Citroën WRT will enter two Xsaras on the Hellenic ground : one for reigning World Champions Sebastien Loeb
and Daniel Elena – who are also leading the drivers' rankings – and another one for young Catalan driver Xevi Pons, co-driven by experienced Carlos Del Barrio.
Lying in a great third position in the championship, Dani Sordo takes part in the Greek event with Marc Marti and thanks to its faithful supports (Grupo Lábaro, Banco Santander, Gobierno de Cantabria, RACC and Würth) on the same Xsara which allowed him to clinch his first podium on gravel in Italy.
After their excellent performance on the Sardinian terrain, the three Kronos Racing Xsara WRCs left the island to rejoin Athens. Given the fact that the same chassis and engine must complete two events, the team has decided to conduct the cars' checking directly in Greece.
First of the Mediterranean trilogy this year, the Acropolis rally has undergone a complete facelift for its 53rd edition. After leaving Athens and the Acropolis sumptuous decor, theatre of the 2003 ceremonial start, the rally comes back to the capital. This year, the Olympic Stadium facilities become the rally's epicentre.
This brings the rally to the doors of a big metropolis but however leads to give up the Mount Parnassus stages and those of the area of Lamia, which now stand to far away from the single ‘Olympic' service area.
The reconnaissance starts Tuesday May 30th and stages will be new for most of the drivers, even if Daniel Grataloup, former co-driver and Kronos Racing's coordinator, remembers having competed in some of the stages around 1990. The event promises to be exciting and the drivers' opinion will be awaited impatiently after the recce. The shakedown, if representative, could also know more action than usual if the teams want to fine-tune the cars' set-up there.
To tackle the new stages close to Athens, which seem to be the roughest, the Kronos Total Citroën WRT, as all teams equipped with BFGoodrich tyres, will benefit from a very new product. The ‘g-Force Profiler H2', tested beginning of May in Sardinia and in Greece, offers the newest complete package (tread pattern, compound and dimension 225-60/15: everything is new). This very resistant tyre should bring a significant advantage in the second passages on clean and abrasive roads, especially in stages like ‘Kineta' covering almost 37 km of a 70 km loop in total.
In 2001, Citroën started its apprenticeship of gravel in Greece, the European most demanding event at the time. The Versailles-Satory men have progressively improved their knowledge of the Greek terrain. Since 2003, there has always been one (2003, 2004) or two (2005) Xsaras on the podium. Sebastien Loeb
and Daniel Elena won here last year. Continuing this successful streak is Kronos team's target, which they hope to achieve in Greece like in the past seven events.
Press release Citroen Kronos WRT