With its new identity, that includes a third day of rallying and major upgrades to its design, the EKO Rally Acropolis 2018 was presented at the National Library of Greece, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. The Greek Rally, 3rd round of the European Rally Championship (ERC), will be held on 1-3 June 2018.
In its third year after the return to its roots, the Region of Sterea Ellada and the city of Lamia, and to some of its most distinguished special stages of the past, this year the Rally will see two major revivals: the start under the Acropolis and the world famous Parthenon, and the Super Special Stage at the Markopoulo Hippodrome which took place back in 2007.
The Regional Governor of Sterea Ellada, Mr. Kostas Bakoyannis, said during the press conference of the EKO Acropolis Rally 2018 that the Region's support is part of the political choice to create opportunities for tourism, economy and culture in Central Greece: "The fact that we are here for another year means that we have chosen to support such events because they are part of our growth. It also means that the Rally, beyond its sporting side, also had in the past two years the results we expected for Central Greece: opening up to something healthy can lead us forward in every level. The Acropolis Rally belongs to the whole world, but its heart will always beat in Central Greece, so we will continue to stand by its side" said Mr. Bakoyannis and thanked OMAE and the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Dimitris Michelakakis, for the perfect cooperation between the Region and the Federation.
The Mayor of the Lamia hostess, Mr. Nikos Stavroyannis, said: "With great joy and enthusiasm, we welcome the EKO Acropolis Rally 2018 once again in Lamia and we are proud to host for the third year this exciting and world-famous sporting event. Exquisite features and exciting Routes in the mountains of Roumeli, but also with special events, prepared by OMAE, the EKO Acropolis Rally 2018 will be under the spotlight of world motorsport for three unique days in the heart of Greece! The Municipality of Lamia as a member of the Organizing Committee, together with OMAE and the Region of Sterea Ellada, as well as the host of the Rally Center, together with all the local authorities, make every effort to prepare the event's infrastructure. Our only goal is to offer participants and viewers an exciting spectacle. As the Mayor of Lamia and a fanatical fan of the EKO Acropolis Rally, I can assure you that all involved in this important event will try their best to make your stay as pleasant as possible. The EKO Acropolis Rally 2018 is finally starting!"
On behalf of the new big naming sponsor of the rally, EKO, the Director General for International and Domestic Trading of the Hellenic Petroleum Group, Mr. Roberto Karahannas, said: "EKO has a long tradition of supporting major sporting events in our country, let alone the established ones. The Acropolis Rally, the leading event of Greece’s motorsport, holds an exceptional place in these. Being one of the most historic and difficult rallies, its name is known all over the world and it’s closely linked to our country. EKO, for the eighth consecutive year, supports the Acropolis Rally as a major sponsor of naming to ensure the viability of this event, which is important not only for motorsport but for the whole country as well. As EKO offers its GUARANTEE on fuel, we want to guarantee that this Rally will not only continue to exist, but will soon return where it belongs: to the top of the world!"
In addition, the EKO Acropolis Rally 2018 also enjoys the significant contribution of the Municipalities that cross it. Thiva, Molos-Agios Konstantinos, Delphi, Makrakomi and Amfiklia-Elatia, all proved, once again, the warmth with which the region and local government embrace this event. And they also symbolize, with their support, the love of local societies for the Acropolis Rally, which brings back countless memories from the past.
In his speech, the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Dimitris Michelakakis, thanked the Region of Sterea Ellada, the Municipality of Lamia and the main sponsor of the Rally, EKO, for their outmost contribution to the Federation's effort to secure the present, but also the future, of the most important international race of Greek motorsport. And, moreover, he pointed out the need for all sides to respect all safety standards.
The Clerk of the Course, Mr. Nikos Manolis, presented the details of the Rally. After the opening ceremony on the foothills of the Acropolis at 11:00 in the morning of Friday June 1st, the competitors will head to the Markopoulo Hippodrome for the Super Special Stage
(at 3:26 p.m.). Then, they will drive to Thiva, for the first full Special Stage of this year’s race, and then to Lamia’s Service Park.
The second day, Saturday June 2nd, includes two loops of three Special Stages -Nea Amfissa, Drosohori and Paleochori-Mendenitsa- and the third day two loops of two Stages, Grammeni and Divri. The finish ceremony will take place at 15:04 in the afternoon of June 3rd, outside of the Service Park area of the Panhellenic Exhibition of Lamia.
As the EKO Acropolis Rally 2018 is approaching, the main concern of the Organizing Committee is to ensure that the Greek round of the European Rally Championship will be proven worthy of its history and, above all, of its prospects.