The gruelling gravel road event forged a reputation as one of the WRC’s iconic fixtures after joining the inaugural season in 1973, and WRC Promoter has finalised a multi-year agreement with the Greek government for the Acropolis to return.
It will form round 10 of the season on 9 - 12 September, replacing Copec Rally Chile which has unfortunately been cancelled due to continued travel and other governmental restrictions amid the pandemic.
The Acropolis was first held in 1951. It became regarded as one of the WRC’s toughest rounds, as twisty and rocky mountain roads combined with intense heat and choking dust to provide a fierce challenge.
The rally has appeared in the WRC on 38 occasions and fostered a cult following among fans before leaving the championship in 2013.
Colin McRae tops the event’s roll of honour with five victories and other winners include fellow world champions Sébastien Loeb, Juha Kankkunen, Walter Röhrl and Carlos Sainz.
Known as the Rally of Gods, Acropolis Rally Greece will start from its traditional location beneath the famous Parthenon temple in Athens, restoring one of the sport’s famous picture postcard images to the WRC.
Details of the host city and itinerary will be issued following the regular route inspections by the FIA and WRC Promoter.
Jona Siebel, managing director of WRC Promoter, said the return of one of the championship’s classic rallies would be applauded across the sport.
“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. Welcome back!” he said.
“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.
“Chile proved a popular addition to the WRC in 2019. Unfortunately, the country suffered badly from the pandemic last year and the situation remains difficult. We’re extremely disappointed to lose this year’s event, but Chile very much remains a part of the WRC family.”