BWRT arrives for the first time to mythical Athens
Brazilian driver Daniel Oliveira wants to conquer the Acropolis
The BWRT crew members Daniel Oliveira and Carlos Magalhaes arrive to the mythic city of Athens to receive the bless of the Gods before tackling the event that marks the season’s midpoint in the FIA World Rally Championship.
After the South American showdown held in Argentina, the WRC action moves back again to Europe, on the Mediterranean shores, to dispute one of the most traditional rounds of the calendar: the Acropolis Rally of Greece, seventh round of the year.
High temperatures, rocky surface, undulating roads and dust are some of the features that make this rally one of the most difficult ones for both the cars and the drivers.
This will be the first time that Oliveira and Magalhaes will be running through the high demanding roads of the outskirts of Athens. Besides, this rally will turn out to be another great challenge to continue developing the MINI John Cooper Works WRC.
Not knowing the roads will be a handicap for Oliveira and Magalhaes on their first year rallying in the world top-level, that’s why the recce among the others pre-race activities will be vital to come up with a neat and sharp pace-note.
Another key factor will be the use of the Michelin’s rubber. One of the biggest challenges for the drivers will be the severe tire wear suffered due to dry conditions and temperature over 30ºC.
Brazil WRT driver Daniel Oliveira said:
“We’re almost half the way through this season and so far it’s been a four-month of on-going learning since we made our debut in the WRC. This is all new to me and it will take me more time to get completely loose.
The frustration for not being able to complete the Rally Argentina is behind, and now I’m a 100% mentally prepared to overcome this new challenge. I’ve watched and followed this rally many times in the previous editions and I now it’s one of the toughest of the year. However, I can’t say much until I hit the road and see it by myself”.
Loutraki, located on the East coast of the Gulf of Corinth will continue to host the rally in 2011. The race take place in Loutraki during day two and three of the event and the permanent service park and rally headquarters will be also placed there. Athens and Kamena Vourla both feature some stages of the itinerary.
The ceremonial start will take place in the historic Acropolis site in Athens while Friday’s stages are based around Kemena Vourla, where there will be a remote service. The Greek government is supporting the event, which will be used to promote tourism in the country.
The Greek round will be valid for the WRC and SWRC Championships. A total of 42 drivers are taking part in the event. The Frenchman Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) leads the standings with 126 points followed by the Finnish Mikko Hirvonen (Ford) with 113. The last winner was Hirvonen in 2009. The Scottish Colin McRae is the driver who got the most winnings: five victories.