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Local Hero Takes on Gravel of Gods with Ralliart Italy
Ralliart Italy is pleased to announce its return to the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time since the team won the FIA Production car World Rally Championship (PWRC) title last year at Rally d'España. Now they're back for Acropolis Rally 2013 and hoping to make a splash with local hero Lambros Athanassoulas behind the wheel of one of their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X cars.
Born in Athens, the stages of the ‘Rally of the Gods' are Lambros' old stomping ground. A trained mechanical engineer, Athanassoulas has an impressive history as a driver both in the Greek Rally Championship and on his WRC outings. In 2009 he took to the Greek stages as a guest driver in the PWRC and stole the win from the series regulars. The same year he took an R2 to Rally d'España and won his category proving his pace on foreign soil and mixed surfaces.
His last outing at Acropolis Rally was in 2011 in a WRC car and despite retiring on Day One of the competition due to a mechanical failure, he once more showed impressive speed, clocking multiple Top Ten times. Now Athanassoulas returns determined to prove he's got what it takes to battle with the other Group N drivers and top the field of national entrants: “Having the opportunity to be back in action on a WRC event and in my hometown is fantastic! It's two years since my last Acropolis Rally, so I don't want to set my expectations too high. That said, we will of course do our best to show what we can do. Our main aim is to have a trouble free rally, drive every kilometre and put in competitive times in the Group N category. We want to enjoy ourselves, but also make the Greek fans proud!”
Ralliart Italy has every intention of helping him achieve this goal. Team Manager Bruno De Pianto looks forward to working with the local hero: “I spent a lot of my early career in rallying working in Greece and there's a lot of respect for Lambros there. We might have won the 2009 PWRC world title, but I still haven't forgotten Lambros speeding past us to steal the victory in Greece. It'll be good to have him on our side this time around. I'm confident that together we can give the fans something to cheer for!”