SPORTS

Acropolis Rally dropped from WRC calendar for 2014

The Acropolis Rally is taken off the World Rally Championship (WRC) at least for next year, as the global motorsports governing body FIA announced on Friday the full calendar for 2014 that includes the Polish Rally replacing the Greek one.

This is only the third time ever that the world championship will not come through the Greek gravel roads, after 1974, when the race did not take place due to the energy crisis, and in 2010 when FIA had embarked on a rotation policy.

The international federation and the championship’s promoter (Red Bull Media House) were said to have concerns about the financial conditions in Greece and doubted whether the Acropolis would fulfill the ever-growing economic requirements of a WRC event.

Championship teams had expressed their reservations about such a decision from weeks ago, when it had become apparent that Acropolis was at risk of missing out.

Volkswagen Motorsport team principal Jost Capito recently said: «The Acropolis is an iconic event. It was always a good, challenging rally that the drivers were all looking forward to all season.

“And when you see the situation in Greece, everybody takes everything from Greece; on a human level, I don’t know how the country will survive if these people keep having everything taken from them.

“They are very proud people and if you take everything – including their pride – away from them then I don’t know how they can catch up.”

The Acropolis Rally organizing committee will now focus its efforts on making the 2015 calendar, probably including new features in the event that will boost its profile.