Local hero Lambros Athanassoulas will compete on the Acropolis Rally of Greece this week, following news he will drive a Ralliart Italy-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.
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. That same year he also took an R2 to Rally d'Espana 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 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!” he stated.
Ralliart Italy team manager Bruno De Pianto meanwhile is looking 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,” said De Pianto.
“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!”