After making history in Estonia, the young Finn once again proved his mettle as he dominated the rocky mountain roads of Greece!
The Acropolis Rally Greece made its WRC comeback this year after an eight-year-long hiatus and, with rain playing spoilsport, gravel tracks interspersed with muddy sections ensured tricky driving conditions. Despite the challenging scenario, Toyota's Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen emerged as the winners. The Finn led for a majority of the event, first emerging as the leader on Day 1 by the end of SS3. From there, his lead remained unchallenged and a gap that started off from just three seconds turned into a thumping victory with a sizeable lead of 42.1 seconds.
Interestingly, the running order of the top-four drivers remained unchanged SS4 onwards – behind Rovanperä and Halttunen, Hyundai's Ott Tänak and Martin Jarveoja crossed the finish line in second place, bringing their podium drought to an end since Rally Kenya. Fighting off a late scare caused by an electrical issue, the Estonian seemed content with the result. Behind the Hyundai duo, Toyota's championship frontrunner and overall leader Sébastien Ogier sealed the top-three by clinching the final step of the podium. Tänak's teammate Dani Sordo finished fourth after incurring a 10-second penalty.
With his closest championship rivals Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) and Elfyn Evans (Toyota) finishing much lower down in the order, a measured, risk-free drive in Greece further strengthened Ogier's bid to secure an eighth WRC title. The Frenchman now sits on top of the WRC leaderboard with 180 points, 44 points clear of second-placed Evans. Rovanperä, on the other hand, is inching closer to the third spot in the drivers' championship, currently sitting in fourth place overall with 129 points – behind Neuville by a single point!
So, with just three more rounds left to go, it looks like Toyota might just secure a historic 1-2-3 finish in the championship!