WRC - Acropolis keen on ERC slot after WRC departure

The Acropolis Rally has been linked to a European Rally Championship slot for next season, following its departure from the World Rally Championship calendar.

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WRC - Acropolis keen on ERC slot after WRC departure
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Petter Solberg on the Acropolis Rally in 2012 (AFP)

Next year will be the 60th anniversary of Greece's highest profile motorsport event and the country's government is keen to see the planned 2014 celebration rally go ahead.

Eurosport Events, the ERC promoter, is obliged to talk to any WRC round dropped from the calendar and those discussions are now underway.

Acropolis promoter Pavlos Athanasoulas admitted he was mystified at the decision not to include one of the WRC's most iconic rallies in 2014.

While his primary objective is a return to the world championship, Athanasoulas acknowledged that the promotion and publicity of the European series was of interest.

"We are in discussion about next year with them," he said. "Our principle backer is keen for the event to run next year and the ERC is a very strong championship and one which we follow closely.

"If we do this, we would look to add some magic with some WRC drivers coming as well."

Athanasoulas was also quick to pour cold water on speculation of financial trouble for the Loutraki-based event.

"We have an agreement with both [FIA rally director] Jarmo Mahonen and Jean Todt [FIA president] that we will pay our calendar fees in installments," said Athanasoulas.

"This is what we have done in previous years. We owe nothing for 2011 and 2012, but we owe €125,000 (£104,000) for this year and we have an agreed structure for paying that. When we receive the money from the sponsors, that money gets paid straight to the FIA.

"This is how it has worked in the past and that is what we agreed with the FIA and the promoter. I believe there is also some money outstanding from ELPA [Greek ASN], but again, this is being sorted out."

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