Acropolis Rally - 31st May-2nd June 2013

One of WRC's most charismatic rallies appears on the calendar for 31st May-2nd June when competitors tackle the Acropolis, with Greece's high ambient temperatures, rocky, undulating roads and dust, making the rally one of the most taxing on the World Rally Championship agenda, subjecting car and crew to a particularly grueling test.

Greece returned to the WRC schedule in 2011 after missing out in 2010 when its absence was keenly felt, not just by the fans that descend on the event in great number, but also by the drivers. The Acropolis is one of the most iconic events in the sport and winning it earns significant kudos. It has only missed two years since the WRC was first established in 1973.

Loutraki on the east coast of the Gulf of Corinth will continue to host the rally in 2013 on the back of a successful return in 2011 and this year's Acropolis itinerary is changed considerably from the 2012 edition.

Following the Qualifying Stage over a 6.05-kilometre course on Friday morning to decide the running order for day one, crews head east to the capital Athens and the famous Zappion for the ceremonial start. After that, the event proper begins with the marathon 47km Kineta-Pissa stage - the longest test of the rally - and then a late evening run of Kineta.

Saturday's itinerary consists of eight stages over a demanding 12-hour period. With service during the day restricted to just one 30-minute halt in Loutraki, the challenge is further increased due to the limited amount of repair work that can be undertaken.

Sunday is a slightly tamer affair with just four stages. The event concludes with the repeat of the 30km Loutraki test, which is this year's Acropolis Power Stage.

With Sebastien Loeb's return to the race track following his second appearance; and win in Argentina the way is open for his mimesis, Sebastien Ogier, to chalk up another WRC win or will this challenging rally throw up a curved ball?

26th May, 2013