The FIA World Rally Cross championship heads to the Acropolis Rally on September 8th, and after an eventful season full of ups and downs, the M-Sport Ford team is gearing up to take on the historic Greek race with all cylinders firing.
Acropolis Rally is often considered the toughest race on the FIA WRC schedule, thanks in part to its extreme temperatures, which sometime exceed 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), which makes for uncomfortable conditions inside the cockpits of the racecars. Rough gravel roads lend another layer of challenge to the race, which was first run in 1973 as the maiden event for the WRC.
Sebastien Loeb will reprise his role behind the wheel of an M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid racer. He took home the trophy at the same event a decade ago in 2012, and has amassed an impressive amount of podium finishes at the event throughout his career. His performance at the tough course could turn things around for the M-Sport Ford team. “Greece is a nice rally that I have always enjoyed,” he said. “It’s a different event to the one I knew, it looks a lot less rough! There are a few stages that are still the same, but mostly we will be starting from scratch.”
Craig Breen will also have a stint in the Puma Rally1, having won at the same event back in 2014. Breen has had success on gravel races throughout this season. “It will be nice to go back to Greece, it’s an event I haven’t done for a while,” Breen said. “I was there last year to do the recce but 2015 was the last time I competed. I have some good memories from Greece, it was my first international rally win back in 2014 and one of the big stepping stones of my career.”
Gus Greensmith will take on Acropolis Rally for the second time in his career. Pierre-Louis Loubet will also take control of the Puma, and Jourdan Serderidis is back on his home course after finding success when the circuit visited Safari Rally Kenya earlier this year.