The 2009 Acropolis Rally took place from the 19th to the 21st of June. The rally had a new Rally HQ, moving from the historical city Athens to the town of Loutraki. The rally was won by BP Ford's Mikko Hirvonen with Sebastien Ogier taking a career best second place with Jari-Matti Latvala taking third.
Day 1 Edit
Day 1 started with Jari-Matti Latvala, straight from a win on the previous rally, Sardinia, taking an early lead. However, championship leader Sebastien Loeb struggled on day 1 after running first on the road and eventually ended the day in 3rd place and was waiting to pounce on the leaders the following day. He was in that position thanks to a number of incidents involving other drivers. Petter Solberg was third fastest on stage 1 but a problem on the next stage saw him drop buckets of time. Petter still managed to finish the day fourth. The leader Latvala looked in control but a off in a hairpin on the final stage lost him 3 and a half minutes, and the lead. Mikko Hirvonen was the man to benefit from Latvala's mistake but Citroen thought tactics again. Dani Sordo was second behind Latvala but he slowed on the final stage deliberately to avoid running first on the road. Ogier was fifth ahead of Henning Solberg.
|1||Mikko Hirvonen||Ford Focus||18.104.22.168|
|2||Dani Sordo||Citroen C4||+3.0|
|3||Sebastien Loeb||Citroen C4||+21.1|
|4||Petter Solberg||Citroen Xsara||+41.8|
|5||Sebastien Ogier||Citroen C4||+1.07.8|
|6||Henning Solberg||Ford Focus||+1.17.7|
|7||Federico Villagra||Ford Focus||+2.04.1|
|8||Khalid Al Quassimi||Ford Focus||+2.15.0|
Day 2 Edit
Day 2 had rougher stages than Day 1 and there were many retirements throughout the day. First man out was Loeb, who rolled out on stage 7. That left Petter Solberg third and he was gifted second as Dani Sordo hit a rock and damaged the suspension. Amazingly, Henning Solberg also hit the same rock and it was over for his points chase. Mikko Hirvonen meanwhile extended his lead at the top of the field to 25 seconds. Petter Solberg had closed Hirvonen's lead down all day but on stage 11 he picked up damper problems. He got it through the day, losing 10 minutes but it proved terminal. This moved Ogier up to a career best second place and early leader Latvala had moved up from 11th to 3rd by the end of the day. Behind him was the 2 Citroen Junior cars of Evgeny Novikov and Conrad Rautenbach and Federico Villagra's Munchi's Ford.
|1||Mikko Hirvonen||Ford Focus||3.07.33.0|
|2||Sebastien Ogier||Citroen C4||+1.40.1|
|3||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Focus||+2.44.2|
|4||Evgeny Novikov||Citroen C4||+3.49.8|
|5||Conrad Rautenbach||Citroen C4||+4.01.9|
|6||Federico Villagra||Ford Focus||+4.03.1|
|7||Khalid Al Quassimi||Ford Focus||+6.09.4|
|8||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Subaru Impresa N4||+11.04.6|
Day 3 Edit
Day 3 saw the drivers tackle 5 stages but there was huge problems for Novikov, who dropped nearly 18 minutes, eventually finishing the rally well down in 16th place. Hirvonen kept it clean and won the rally, cutting Loeb's lead in the championship down to 7 points. Ogier was delighted at a career best 2nd place, while Latvala finished off the podium places. The Munchi's Ford of Federico Villagra took a joint best 4th position, while Rautenbach finished 5th. Mads Ostberg recovered from a problem on day 2 to finish in 7th place and the Group N Subaru Impresa of local hero Lambros Athanassoulas won the PWRC round and took a world championship point in the process.
|1||Mikko Hirvonen||Ford Focus||4.09.42.5|
|2||Sebastien Ogier||Citroen C4||+1.12.9|
|3||Jari-Matti Latvala||Ford Focus||+1.45.0|
|4||Federico Villagra||Ford Focus||+3.48.3|
|5||Conrad Rautenbach||Citroen C4||+3.59.8|
|6||Khalid Al Qassimi||Ford Focus||+7.04.3|
|7||Mads Ostberg||Subaru Impresa||+12.24.9|
|8||Lambros Athanassoulas||Subaru Impresa N4||+12.47.6|