The Acropolis Rally celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and the Subaru team’s Impreza WRC rally cars will have new damper settings to cope with what is regarded as “the toughest event on the calendar”.

The Acropolis Rally celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and the Subaru team’s Impreza WRC rally cars will have new damper settings to cope with what is regarded as “the toughest event on the calendar”.

555 Subaru World Rally Team Principal David Lapworth this week said: "With the loss of the Safari Rally from the WRC, Greece is now the toughest event in the championship, and followed by Cyprus, it's the first of two successive, potentially very demanding events.

“The stages are very rough and twisty and that brings the speeds down, I expect that we'll see a rally average of around 85 km/h. In Greece we're going to try some different settings on our new dampers after an encouraging introduction in Argentina.

At the recent Argentinean Rally, the team took a conservative approach and used well-proven settings to evaluate the Impreza’s endurance. By contrast, the biggest challenge in Greece will be tyre wear, especially as recent rainfall could make the stages even more rough and cut up than usual.

Although outright victory has eluded Subaru drivers Tommi Makinen and Petter Solberg in Greece, both have scored credible second positions there. Makinen took the silver in 1996, while Solberg, competing on the tough Greek terrain for the first time in a Subaru, claimed second in 2001. Both finished within a minute of the leader.

Solberg said: "The Impreza is very good in the conditions in Greece - the tyres and car have worked well in the past and cope well with the gravel roads. My experience of the Safari Rally is an advantage. Even so, it's been difficult to prepare myself for the physical challenges of Greece but I will try to relax a bit when I get there."

The temperatures and extreme conditions does not present a serious problem for Makinen. “Rough conditions have always suited me and hopefully Greece this year should be no different. I am looking forward to the three new stages - it's good to have some variety,” he said.

“I've done some testing since Argentina on the new dampers and the car is feeling better. I'm confident that everything's in place ahead of Greece and it should be a good event," the Finn added.

Original article from Car