That’s the top Greek driver in history
One of the most historic rallies on the world calendar, the Acropolis Rally, has returned after six years to the World Championship from 2021. On Thursday 7 September 2023, the chequered flag will be dropped again to start the race, which this year is almost 70 years old. This anniversary was the occasion for the “Acropolis Rally Hall of Fame powered by betsson” competition, which gave Acropolis Rally fans the opportunity to vote for their favourites among the best of all time, giving their own perspective on the great drivers who have taken part.
Once again, the protagonists of the history of the Acropolis Rally have come to the fore, drivers who have each stood out in their own time, cars whose performance and technology have shaped periods of world motorsport, special routes identified with the legend of the race.
The public was asked to choose the best among equals, with the rankings confirming that in a race like the Acropolis Rally, emotion can trump records.
The competition, which attracted almost 10,000 votes, included five categories: (1) Greek and (2) foreign drivers and (3) co-drivers with the most successful race performance, (4) race cars that excelled the most on the hard surfaces and (5) special stages that won the favour of the crews, spectators and the press.
But who is the Greek driver, who was the majority of the public’s favourite? None other than the well-known “Iaveris”, Tasos Markouizos, who topped the list with 26% of the votes. His best result was the 5th place in the 26th Acropolis Rally (1979), but he “gave” many moments to the fans of the race, especially in the late 70s and early 80s, always thanks to his spectacular driving.
Top foreigner, the late Colin McRae, multi-winner of the Acropolis Rally and 1995 World Champion, won 30% of the votes and was named top foreign driver, confirming that his mark on the sport remains indelible.
In the co-drivers’ category, which included Greek and foreign protagonists of the Acropolis Rally, the 55% that the spectators “gave” to Kostas Stefanis was the highest percentage recorded in the vote. The multi-winning Greek co-driver initially stood out next to “Javert”, while next to “Jigger” he dominated the six-year period 1987-’92. His most notable successes included winning 1st place Overall in 1995 with Aris Vovos.
With six consecutive Championships and a total of 46 WRC wins, the Lancia Delta is considered one of the most successful cars of all time. Arriving in 1992, the Deltona, the ultimate version of the Integrale, was unveiled and immediately climbed the highest step of the podium at the Acropolis. A car that was loved by the public internationally and by the Greeks in particular, who showed their preference by voting for it with a 25% share.
In the special stages category, the “Tarzan”, with a 21% share, won the preference of the spectators, mainly thanks to its legend. A special stage whose fame precedes its name, with stories of it being perhaps the toughest special stage the World Rally Championship has included in the past. As of 2021, the Tarzan has been reintroduced to the race route, with some parts of it, near Rovoliari and Rentina, attracting thousands of spectators.
At the end of the voting, a draw was held, which resulted in 80 lucky winners, who will win 50 double invitations for the 2023 EKO Rally Acropolis 2023 ultra-special route, which will take place on September 7, 15 places in safe driving seminars, in cooperation with the Driving Academy, 5 complete sets of the official Acropolis Rally 70th anniversary merchandise and 10 collector’s albums of the 70th anniversary of the Acropolis Rally.