Greece’s Acropolis Rally will replace the Chilean round as the South American country faces more COVID-19 troubles.
The Acropolis Rally, held in Athens, Greece, has been absent from the World Rally Championship calendar for eight years, the last occasion being in 2013. Since then, the rally hosted the European Rally Championship until 2019, from which it has not been held since. Inaugurated in 1951, the Acropolis Rally was distinguished by its reputation for its grueling and taxing gravel roads, providing a great challenge for both car and driver to withstand.
Now the renowned event makes its return to the calendar due to a decision to cancel the South American Copec Rally Chile round as COVID-19 continues to impact the country.
“The Acropolis holds an illustrious chapter in WRC history and we appreciate the Greek government’s huge commitment in restoring it to world rallying’s top table. Welcome back!” managing director WRC promoter Jona Siebel said.
“Its heritage will be recalled by all, but at the same time, this is a modern-era Acropolis that sits comfortably alongside our other 11 rounds. That doesn’t mean its challenge is diminished and we can be sure the tough mountain roads will bring the sternest of contests.”
“Chile proved a popular addition to the WRC in 2019. Unfortunately, the country suffered badly from the pandemic last year and the situation remains difficult. We’re extremely disappointed to lose this year’s event, but Chile very much remains a part of the WRC family.”
FIA president Jean Todt added: “I am convinced the efforts of the Chilean Motor Sport Federation and organizing team are not in vain and we will have the chance to see another great edition of Rally Chile in the future.”
“Acropolis Rally Greece, which thus gets the opportunity to step into the championship, needs no introduction. It’s a legendary event featuring some of the world’s roughest stages.”
The rally will take place on 9th-12th September, acting as round 10 of the 2021 WRC season.