Despite being left out of this year’s World Rally Championship, the 2014 Acropolis Rally was as spectacular and exciting as ever, easily emerging as the best race in the European Rally Championship, and with Peugeot stealing the show throughout by dominating the race and finishing first on Sunday at Loutraki.
Ireland’s Craig Breen triumphed on the Greek gravel with his Peugeot 208 T16 R5, leaving favorite Bryan Bouffier and his Citroen DS3 RRC in second due to the several errors the Frenchman committed during the race.
Poland’s Kajetan Kajetanowicz was a surprise third, driving a Ford Fiesta R5, to leave the battle-hardened Skoda Fabia of Finland’s Esapekka Lappi off the podium.
Cypriot Charalambos Timotheou ended up 16th with his Mitsubishi Lancer, while the first among the Greeks was Ioannis Zounis who took his Subaru Impreza to the 21st spot. Out of the 29 starters in the ERC race, 23 finished it.
The good weather, the high participation by Greek drivers in the race for the domestic championship and the strong presence of fans at the special stages of the race restored some of the prestige the Acropolis Rally lost by being omitted from the WRC for 2014.
The question now is what the future of the Greek race will be, especially if it continues to be left out of the WRC calendar next year too.