WRC

Acropolis Rally: Gigi Galli leg two summary

Gigi Galli and Giovanni Bernacchini in their Ford Focus RS of the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team, obliged to retire again because of hydraulic problems, they'll re-start tomorrow under Super Rally rule. Another warm day welcome this morning at...

Gigi Galli and Giovanni Bernacchini in their Ford Focus RS of the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team, obliged to retire again because of hydraulic problems, they'll re-start tomorrow under Super Rally rule.

Another warm day welcome this morning at 08.30 the 58 crews tacing in the 55th Acropolis Rally.

The second leg was run in the area of the Corinth Canal and it's been really tough , confirming what ahs been reported by drivers after the recce. Other three special stages to be repeated twice for a total of 119,12 timed kilometers.

The heat, temperatures rise as high as 35C, the thick dust rose by cars and the sharp stones and rocks covering the route, put under strain both drivers and cars.

Gigi Galli and Giovanni Bernacchini that re-started this morning under SuperRally rule and with 30 minutes penalty started the first stage, Aghii Theodori 32,16 km the longest of the rally, with a good pace but towards the end they've been slowed down by the dust rose by the car ahead. The Italian crew of the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford won the other two stages, Pissia 16,60 km and Aghia Triada 10,80 km, before heading back to the mid day service park.

After the service park crews re-started for the second run on the same stages run in the morning, but Gigi Galli has been obliged to stop again before entering the stage because of loss of pression in the hydraulic system of his car. The system lost all the fluid and also the gears were not working. Since they had to run three stages in a row the team decided to stop and re-start tomorrow under Super Rally rule.

"We started off this morning losing some time by getting caught in Rautenbach's dust but the car and tyres felt really good so we pushed in the next two stages and it was great to set two fastest stage times. However on the way to the first stage after service I heard a bang and felt some vibration in the car. We lost hydraulic pressure which meant no gear changes and no diffs so I decided it was too unsafe to attempt these three stages and I didn't want to damage the car even more with Turkey only two weeks away."

A difficult race also for the crews on top, Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) had a puncture in the second special stage of the rally losing 30 seconds and therefore also the leadership passed to his team mate Dani Sordo. Then Loeb recovered taking the lead again after special stage 12 when Sordo suffered a puncture. In the Ford team Jari-Matti Latvala and his co-driver Mikko Hirvonen yesterday had suspension problems and both lost few positions, this morning they were able to gain ground, but then Latvala had turbo problems and Hirvonen hit a rock.

The third and last day of Acropolis Rally will start tomorrow morning at 05.05 am, The crews will tackle 6 special stages north west of Athens before coming back to Tatoi to run the last short super special stage near the military airport. A total of 110,74 timed kilometers.

-credit: gigigalli.com

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb , Jari-Matti Latvala , Gianluigi Galli , Giovanni Bernacchini
Teams Citroën World Rally Team , M-Sport