Torrential rains disrupted the reconnaissance (in addition to obviously affecting the locals), but also gullied the rally tracks. This muddy condition on the Acropolis is exceptional whereas usually it is dust that awaits the competitors. In the end, the rally became tougher with dug holes and ruts which tired the machines.
The start of the rally was marked by a stranded Ford Puma for Pierre-Louis Loubet. It’s a shame that the machine couldn’t even compete in a “real” special, just the Thursday evening special of one minute and a half. For Tänak, also in the Ford Puma M-Sport, there was undoubtedly the same problem as for Loubet, but luckily it happened outside the special. The Estonian had to dismantle and clean part of the car to leave. But the victory became distant from the start of the rally.
At the end of Friday, Neuville (Hyundai) took the lead by 2.8 seconds from Sébastien Ogier (Toyota). Rovanperä seems a step behind, but is 3rd at 25 seconds. Everyone is fighting with their car this Friday. Saturday changes the situation with drier, more “classic” slopes. Neuville and Ogier are fighting for seconds for leadership of the rally. The catamaran for Neuville comes in SS10 with a broken suspension in a hole. This leaves the field open to Ogier. Rovanperä will turn his back, preferring the points of a second place to another retirement.
Except that the twist of fate is for Ogier! The Toyota had a broken suspension in a hole too, in the last stage of Saturday. On the eve of the last day, Rovanperä is calm with 2 minutes ahead of the 2d, Sordo who is fighting with Evans. This Sunday was a “formality” for the reigning world champion. Better still, he also won the last special and its 5 bonus points.
In the end, Rovanperä won ahead of his teammate Evans with 1 min 31. Sordo failed to reach third place by 4 seconds. Tänak moved up the rankings due to the abandonment of others. He finished 4 min 28 behind Rovanperä, having taken more than 3 min 30 penalty for clocking in late after his mechanics session. He is ahead of Esapekka Lappi who also had to repair his Hyundai. Despite his retirement in the last special of Saturday (10 min penalty), Ogier finished in the top 10 at 11 min 43 behind Rovanperä, in the middle of the WRC2. In Rally 2, it was Mikkelsen who won ahead of Greensmith.
POSITIONPILOT1Kalle ROVANPERÄ2Elfyn EVANS3Daniel SORDO4Ott TÄNAK5Esapekka LAPPI6Takamoto KATSUTA7Andreas MIKKELSEN8Gus GREENSMITH9Yohan ROSSEL10Sébastien OGIER11Adrien FOURMAUX12Grégoire MUNSTER13Kajetan KAJETANOWICZ14Lauri J OONA15Robert VIRVES
Ranking of the 2023 driver world championship
200 points all round for Rovanperä. He now has 33 points on Evans. A rally earns a maximum of 30 points (victory and Power Stage) so mathematically nothing is done. There are 3 events remaining with Chile, the brand new Central European Rally (Austria+Czech Republic+Germany) and finally Japan. Rovanperä therefore has a “joker” and can simply control. But in rallying it’s not easy, and it’s not really the young Finn’s temperament. His second title is reaching out to him. Ogier can no longer be titled. For Tänak and even Neuville, the title is illusory.
POSITIONPILOTETOTAL1Kalle ROVANPERÄ2002Elfyn EVANS1673Thierry NEUVILLE1344Ott TÄNAK1195Sébastien OGIER996Esapekka LAPPI987Takamoto KATSUTA668Daniel SORDO639Teemu SUNINEN3410Pierre-Louis LOUBET2811Oliver SOLBERG251 2Andreas MIKKELSEN2313Gus GREENSMITH2014Craig BREEN1915Yohan ROSSEL12
2023 constructor championship ranking
Toyota is not mathematically in the title, but with 91 points in advance, they have something to see ahead. When we see this ranking, we can only approve of the return of Subaru to the WRC, and why not other manufacturers. But the championship is becoming more and more expensive with prototypes on wheels and hybrid engines costly to develop.