Former F1 man Robert Kubica has continued on his road to recovery with a first victory in the WRC2 category of the World Rally Championship.
Kubica, who is competing in the series in a specially-adapted Citroen DS3 RRC, had finished sixth on his first outing in the championship in Portugal but emerged as the dominant figure on the challenging Acropolis Rally in Greece.
The Pole led from the start and ran inside the top ten overall at one stage before bringing his car to the finish first in WRC2 and eleventh overall.
His final margin of victory in his class was 1min 29.8secs over Ford Fiesta driver Yuriy Protasov, with the success lifting him to sixth in the championship standings.
“It was a difficult and long weekend,” Kubica reflected. “A long week actually – it started with the recce. For me, I am used to a very flat and clean circuit, coming here in recce was already something of a shock for me – but then it was worse on the rally. I never saw such a condition or drove in it. But we got through with no problems, except some dust in SS1 and one spin. It's a great result, great for experience. We gained a lot of experience especially in narrow, twisty roads. This is good knowledge for the future.
“I knew if I come here and drive my way I would be able to make a good result. In the end winning is always difficult, especially something like the Acropolis, this is such a difficult rally – actually all rallies are difficult for me this year! Every single rally is a different character. In Finland you have the jumps, in Sardinia there are many difficult places and also the Tarmac. Everybody expects this to be much easier for me, but Germany and France will be tough rallies for me.”
While Kubica himself was quick to downplay his chances of lifting the title this season, Citroen team principal Yves Matton said he was impressed with the performance of the former BMW Sauber and Renault man.
“Robert had already shown, on gravel and on tarmac, that he has genuine pace, but he still needed to learn about discipline,” he said. “He had a great race here, including the final leg when he managed his lead. I have the feeling that this may something of a turning point for him. It certainly augurs well in terms of our shared objective, which is to win the WRC2 title.”