Acropolis Rally returns to WRC calendar as Chile drops out

The Acropolis Rally will feature on the WRC calendar again this year for the first time since 2013
The Acropolis Rally will feature on the WRC calendar again this year for the first time since 2013 ARIS MESSINIS AFP/File
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Paris (AFP)

The Acropolis Rally in Greece will return to the world championship calendar for the first time since 2013 when it replaces the coronavirus-hit Rally of Chile in September, organisers announced on Friday.

"It will form round 10 of the season on 9-12 September, replacing Rally Chile which has unfortunately been cancelled due to continued travel and other restrictions amid the pandemic," said the promoters.

World Rally Championship said it had finalised a "multi-year agreement" with the Greek government for the Acropolis to return.

Always considered one of the toughest rallies on the circuit, because of the twisty and rocky mountain roads, intense heat and choking dust, the Acropolis Rally was a regular feature of the circuit between 1973 and 2013.

"The Acropolis holds an illustrious chapter in WRC history and we appreciate the Greek government's huge commitment in restoring it to world rallying's top table," said Jona Siebel, managing director of WRC Promoter.

"Its heritage will be recalled by all, but at the same time this is a modern-era Acropolis that sits comfortably alongside our other 11 rounds.

"That doesn't mean its challenge is diminished and we can be sure the tough mountain roads will bring the sternest of contests."

The 2021 edition will start from its usual location under the famous Parthenon temple in Athens.

The location of the service park and the route will be specified at a later date.

Revised calendar for the 2021 WRC season:

January 21-24 - Monte-Carlo Rally

February 26-28 - Arctic Rally (Finland)

April 22-25 - Rally of Croatia

May 20-23 - Rally of Portugal

June 3-6 - Rally of Italy

June 24-27 - Safari Rally (Kenya)

July 15-18 - Rally of Estonia

July 29-August 1 - Rally of Finland

August 13-15 - Ypres Rally (Belgium)

September 9-12 - Acropolis Rally (Greece)

October 14-17 - Rally of Spain

November 11-14 - Rally of Japan