WRC

Dust storms end first day of Acropolis Rally early

Dust storms end first day of Acropolis Rally early

Stage eight of the Acropolis Rally, from Lilea to Parnassos, showed first signs of problems due to spectators on the rally route causing a delay in the event. Once the superspecial got underway, the dust storms came, causing additional problems...

Stage eight of the Acropolis Rally, from Lilea to Parnassos, showed first signs of problems due to spectators on the rally route causing a delay in the event. Once the superspecial got underway, the dust storms came, causing additional problems for the drivers.

Marcus Gronholm.
Photo by Marlboro Peugeot Total.
The 2.25km stretch was the final stage of the day for the world rally contenders. Only 33 drivers had finished before FIA World Rally Championship stewards declared the stage canceled. The drivers never got up to top speed due to the dust.

The fastest prior to the cancelation was the Fiat Punto Super 1600 driven by Massimo Ceccato from Italy. The time posted was 1:43.8. Leader of leg one, Markko Martin managed sixth for the stage.

Stage seven Stromi 2 at 14.60km now ends the leaderboard for the first day. The Ford Focus Spanish driver Martin leads the rally 4.8 seconds ahead of Peugeot's Harri Rovanpera.

Adding to an already problematic end of day, Marcus Gronholm has reported a fuel pump problem, possibly due to the dusty conditions, and may not make it back to the service area. The world champion is trying to limp his Peugeot home.

Motorsport.com Update on Gronholm:
Gronholm retired from the event just a few kilometers shy of the service area due to the fuel pump problem. Peugeot did verify that he did indeed have fuel remaining in the Peugeot.

Gronholm stated, "It is really frustrating! We know the fuel is in the tank, but it cannot reach the engine!"

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Harri Rovanpera , Marcus Gronholm , Markko Martin