“When the road conditions were very rough, Colin had the ability to drive sympathetically to avoid damaging his car – the Acropolis and Safari rallies being prime examples of this

Alison McRae

43° Acropolis Rally
Athens, 2-4 June 1996

Pilots Car Time
1. McRae Colin - Ringer Derek
Subaru Impreza 555
2. Mäkinen Tommi - Harjanne Seppo
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III
3. Sainz Carlos - Moya Luis
Ford Escort RS Cosworth

Overall Classification

Pilots Car Time
4. Liatti Piero - Pons Fabrizia
Subaru Impreza 555
5. Eriksson Kenneth - Parmander Staffan
Subaru Impreza 555
6. Thiry Bruno - Prévot Stéphane
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
7. Loix Freddy - Smeets Sven
Toyota Celica GT-Four
8. Pianezzola Gilberto - Roggia Loris
Toyota Celica GT-Four
9. Bernardini Patrick - Occelli Bernard
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
10. Richelmi Jean-Pierre - Barjou Thierry
Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD

In the realm of the Gods

The Greek Acropolis Rally, of the 1996 World Rally Championship, is Colin McRae's sixth world championship win and fifth with the Subaru Impreza 555. It is the first win for a British driver in this rally since 1968 and the first for the Scotsman after becoming World Champion. On the stony Hellenic ground, the dilemma is always the same: push hard from start to finish with the risk of damaging the car or drive carefully, risking precious seconds on the clock? On this occasion, the wet conditions made these decisions even more crucial.

Colin chose the simplest way: he was leading the race from the first to the last special stage. The car and the tires remained intact with thanks to his mechanics, who repaired the Impreza from some mechanical problems close to the end of the rally. Stage after stage, Colin increased his advantage over each of his rivals, driving as only he knew how. The Scot closed the rally with a 50 ”advantage over the runner-up. «This is one of the toughest rallies in the World Championship and because of that, it is one of the most rewarding to win» Colin stated on arrival at the service area: a tough rally that only true champions are able to conquer.

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