2013 Acropolis Rally - Day 1

FIA News Bulletin from Day 1 of the 2013 Rally Acropolis
(31 MAY - 02 JUNE 2013)


The sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship - the Acropolis Rally - got off to a dramatic start this evening and a number of leading crews have already fallen victim to the punishing conditions. After the opening two stages and 73.75 competitive kilometres, Evgeny Novikov is the surprise overnight leader and already has 30.3 seconds in hand to second-placed Dani Sordo. Jari-Matti Latvala is third, a further nine seconds adrift.
The rally got underway this afternoon in Athens and the crews immediately headed to the opening two stages, the first a punishing 47.70 kilometre stage and the second, a shorter 26.05 kilometre test but run in complete darkness. Renowned for being one of the toughest events on the calendar, the first stage took its toll as Sébastien Ogier, Mads Østberg and Mikko Hirvonen all hit problems. Championship leader Ogier sustained a puncture and was then forced to stop with a fuel related problem; he will however re-start under Rally 2 regulations on Saturday. Hirvonen dropped nearly six minutes with loose steering and after Østberg clipped a kerb, the Norwegian lost a wheel and over three minutes.
Novikov has been the pace-setter, the Russian fastest in the opening stage by 20.6 seconds and he also claimed victory in the night stage to pull out a useful advantage ahead of a long day of competition on Saturday. Sordo and Latvala too have remained unscathed and Thierry Neuville holds fourth overnight, the only other driver now under a minute adrift of the lead. Andreas Mikkelsen, in fifth, stalled three times in the first stage but sits ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah, who reported a potential differential problem.
Saturday is by far the longest day of the rally and covers eight stages and 149.56 competitive kilometres.
Acropolis Rally – Unofficial Results after Day 1
1.   Evgeny Novikov/Ilka Minor
2.   Dani Sordo/Carlos Del Barrio
3.   Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila
4.   Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul
5.   Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula
6.   Nasser Al-Attiyah/Giovanni Bernacchini
7.   Martin Prokop/Michal Ernst
8.   Khalid Al Qassimi/Scott Martin
9.   Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson
10. Robert Kubica/Maciek Baran
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Citroën DS3 WRC
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Citroën DS3 WRC
Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Citroën DS3 RRC
50 min 59.3sec
51 min 29.6sec
51 min 38.4sec
51 min 50.4sec
52 min 13.9sec
52 min 32.2sec
53 min 33.6sec
54 min 21.7sec
54 min 29.4sec
55 min 16.6sec