World champion Kalle Rovanpera won the Acropolis Rally

World champion Kalle Rovanpera won the Acropolis Rally on Sunday to move a significant step closer to a second successive title. The Toyota driver benefitted from the defection on Saturday of Sebastien Ogier to wrap up his third win of the year.

The 22-year-old extended his lead at the top of the 2023 standings over teammate Elfyn Evans to 33 points with three rallies remaining. Of course, it’s a big relief,” said Rovanpera. Evans took second in Greece, over a minute and a half adrift, with Hyundai’s Dani Sordo in third.

Evans clocked the fastest time in the first of Sunday’s closing three stages, with Sordo claiming the honours in the next and Rovanpera taking the 15th and final Power stage.

“After a difficult rally in Finland, we needed to come back now, even though we never left,” added Rovanpera. A strong performance, starting first and finishing first is quite nice. We had a clever drive and still a good push here (in the Power Stage).”

Rovanpera’s fortunes changed dramatically on Saturday after eight-time world champion Ogier was forced out on the day’s last stage when his Toyota suffered a broken suspension as it clattered into a rock.

That allowed teammate Rovanpera, who had been more than 12 seconds in arrears at the time, to finish the day two minutes clear.

The WRC season moves on to Chile at the end of the month, then the Central European Rally, a new addition to the calendar, in Austria, Czech Republic and Germany, with Japan hosting the 13th and final round in November.


Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (FIN/Toyota) 3hrs 16.7sec,
Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (GBR/Toyota) at 1min 31.7sec,
Dani Sordo/Candido Carrera (ESP/ Hyundai) 1:35.9,
Ott Tanak/Martin Järveoja (EST/ M-Sport/Ford) 4:28.4,
Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/Hyundai) 6:22.3

10. Sebastien Ogier/Vincent Landais (FRA/Toyota) 11:43.4,
18. Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL/Hyundai) 29:21.2

Special stage winners:

Kalle Rovanperä (SS1, SS3, SS7, SS9, SS10, SS11, SS12, SS15), Ott Tänak (SS5, SS6),
Thierry Neuville (SS2, SS8),
Sebastien Ogier (SS4),
Elfyn Evans (SS13),
Dani Sordo (SS14)

Source: Supersport

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