News & Articles McCormack-Mitchell win the Historic Acropolis Rally 2023 as the rally returns to the EHRC!
Martin McCormack-Barney Mitchell were the winners of the Historic Acropolis Rally, the three-day event that returned to the calendar of the European Historic Rally Championship. The crews competed in a total of 14 Special Stages, in variable weather conditions, with the finish taking place in the early afternoon of Sunday 5 November in Elefsina, the European Capital of Culture for 2023.
The battle that was expected after the first leg never took place, as the British crew upped the pace on Saturday and quickly slipped away in the overall classification, driving the Ford Escort RS1800 MKII to the limit. Winning 12 of the rally’s 14 Special Stages, McCormack-Mitchell took a well-deserved victory. Valter Pierangioli-Sauro Farnocchia finished second in the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4×4. They made a strong start on Friday and found themselves on the top of the overall classification. However, on Saturday a broken driveshaft in the morning’s Special Stage dashed the hopes of the Italian crew for victory on Greek soil. It should be noted that the “neighbors” were not eligible to score for the European Historic Rally Championship.
Finishing on the third step of the podium were Ernie and Karen Graham despite the small exit they had on Sunday in their Ford Escort RS1800 MKII. The British, who participated for the fourth time in the event were excited about the Special Stages and are looking forward to coming again next year! The applause of the spectators went to Oldrich Kovarik jnr-Marek Kapic who were very spectacular with the Skoda Favorit 136 L, finishing in fourth place. Marios Stafylopatis-Giorgos Chatzirigas finished fifth overall and first among the Greek crews in their Ford Escort RS2000 MKII, having a problem-free rally, managed to maintain their position and kept their French rivals behind.
Eric Guignard-Didier Meffre, despite the mechanical problems they faced during the three days of the rally, managed to reach the finish in their Renault 5 Turbo, finishing the last round of EHRC in sixth place. Giorgos Paradeisis-Ploutarchos Stergiou finished seventh in the national event, in a Ford Escort MKII and left behind, Konstantinos Argyriou-Stamatis Laskos, who finished eighth overall, driving a Toyota Starlet EP71 prepared by the driver, especially for the Historic Acropolis Rally. Konstantinos Papadimitriou-Manos Sigalas finished ninth overall in a Toyota Starlet EP71 Turbo and impressed with their performance on Special Stage “Livadia” on Sunday. Dimitris Amaxopoulos-Hara Moraiti had a Toyota Corolla in their hands and finished ninth overall
They were followed by Dimitris Melas-Stathis Vardaxis (Porsche 911), who despite their little experience, managed to reach the end, in their first Historic Acropolis Rally. Further back, the Germans, Siegfried and Renate Mayr in a Volvo 240 competed for the first time in Greece. The British Tom Coughtrie-Alex Lee, driving a right-hand drive Ford Escort RS1800 MKII, saw the checkered flag at the finish in Elefsina, leaving further behind Alexandros Roustemis-Grigoris Andrianopoulos who overcame the problems they faced during the rally, in their Ford Sierra RS Cosworth. In their return to the buckets after a 7-year absence, Grigoris Nioras-Kostas Kakalis, in their first contact with the Opel Corsa A GSi, reached the finish in Elefsina on Sunday afternoon, in a difficult and demanding, as they described it, Historic Acropolis Rally.
In Category 4 of the European Championship, Ernie Graham and Karen Graham took the victory, finishing ahead of Oldrich Kovarik jnr-Marek Kapic and the Greeks Alexandros Christodoulou-Athanassios Samaras who despite the problems they faced in the first two legs of the rally with the Lancia 037 Rally, they came back under superrally regulations and managed to finish the rally. In Category 3, Martin McCormack-Barney Mitchell finished first, ahead of Eric Guignard-Didier Meffre and Siegfried Mayr-Renate Mayr. The only crew that competed in Category 2 was that of the Italians Paolo Pasutti-Giovanni Battista Campeis, who with the Porsche 911 Carrera managed to reach the finish in Elefsina. Oldrich Kovarik snr-Petr Dufek drove the oldest car of the rally, a Skoda Octavia Super were the only ones that participated in Category 1 and were eligible to collect points for the European Historic Rally Championship.
In the overall classification, in Category 2, Amaxopoulos-Moraiti, finishing first, ahead of Melas-Vardaxis and Pasutti-Campeis. In Category 3, McCormack-Mitchell won, with Stafylopatis-Chatzirigas finishing second and France’s Guignard-Meffre following. Italians Pierangioli-Farnocchia took the lead in Category 4, ahead of championship-leading combinations Graham-Graham and Kovarik jnr-Kapic.
Sponsors of the event were the Municipality of Elefsina, Elefsina, the European Capital of Culture for 2023, Superfast Ferries, SP Tableware, Seajets and Cosmote TV.
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