|24 Hours Greece: Do you have 24 hours? Greece invites again the rallyworld.|
24 hours is enough for lots of things - for example, you can finish at the "24 Hours Rally Raid Greece". One of Greece’s hardest, 1000 km long cross-country rally event will be held on 24-25th November, for the tenth time already. We asked the European promoter of the event, Olivér Sólyom.
MR: What would you tell those who don’t know the event?
Solyom: That don’t hesitate, send your entries immediately! We planned for years to start at this race but reached the start podium in Athens only last year. The huge amount of positive experiments was a surprise for us, we returned home with lots fantastic experiences.
It’s an unbelievable feeling to rush from the day into the night, fight with our demons in the night, then race in the daylight again. Because of all these, the Athens 24 hours race is part of Sólyom Team’s calendar every year from now. By the way, from Central Europe this is the nearest 24 hours cross-country rally event, from Budapest on highway it’s about 1500 km.
MR: What’s the difference between this and the other rallies?
Solyom: On the one hand, it means 24 hours of continuous racing which is a hard test and requires intense concentration. On the other hand, the route winds in the Greek mountains... I think this needs no explanation.
Another difference is the length of the specials: while at an average Central European cross-country rally event we do about 300 km of special a weekend, in Athens we have to complete 1000 km in 24 hours.
The specials are 100-200 km long each, but this year there will also be a 250 km long special. Then another fact that this is not a loop race, the tracks don’t recur, we don’t drive on the same special again during the whole rally. Hospitality and friendly atmosphere are also worth mentioning but these are just the cherries on the cake.
MR: What kind of tracks will await those who enter the rally?
Solyom: There will be every kind of tracks concerning quality and hardness. Most of the time we drive on well feasible, twisty mountain roads with small stones, but there will be some narrow, bushy and rocky parts as well.
Tracks are very varied, there are many changes of rhythm within one special and there are many surprising changes. The change in level also affects the strategy of the teams as practically we start at the sea level and we go as high as 1500 m during the race in the mountains. So I can’t call this rally a monotonous one.
MR: To whom do you recommend this rally?
Solyom: Both for pros and amateurs. The organiser kept in mind the low-budget amateur and hobby teams. There is a category in which you can enter with normal bikes, quads and cars. Competitors in these categories don’t have to complete the whole distance and the entry fee is lower for them as well.
So the race can even be considered as a big adventure at the end of the year. Of course, the event is also interesting for pro teams, they have to complete the whole distance, nearly 1000 km in one day, almost 900 km of that against the clock. In fact, I can recommend it to everyone who has some courage inside.
MR: How detailed is the roadbook?
Solyom: Not as much as many of us are used to in the Central European championships. I don’t think it’s a problem as this is cross-country rally, so you have to count on holes and ditches and because of the characteristics of the constantly changing rain it’s impossible to mention everything.
But it’s clear for all participants that we don’t drive on highways. Anyway, we navigate according to the FIA standard roadbook which includes all important or dangerous things. It’s true that here navigation is a key factor, it’s easy to get lost, and we can’t count on signs because there are no signs. Competitors in the GPS category get a track that leads them through the specials safely.
MR: When will it be possible to maintain the vehicles and have some rest?
Solyom: As there will be five specials, between them there will be four service opportunities and to have some rest. Depending on the length of the specials there will be 1-1.5 hours until the start of the restart. I don’t say it’s much, but it’s enough for an intense racing. Those who don’t have to complete all specials accordingly will have more time.
MR: What about the number of entries at the moment?
Solyom: According to the latest data I have, 56 teams from 10 countries have entered so far, 21 bikers and quad riders and 35 cars. There are 2 more months left until the race so I think these numbers will double till the start.
MR: What more can you tell about the race?
Solyom: There are a lot more to tell. 24 Hours Rally Raid Greece has a presentation [ 24 HOURS GREECE PROMOTION KIT ], you can find a lot of important details here. But if anyone has any more questions, don’t hesitate to email us at [ email@example.com ]. We answer all questions and help with everything.
24 Hours Greece 2012 - The stages 24-25th November
SS01 - Athens - Distomo, 250 km
SS02 - Distomo - Distomo, 110 km
SS03 - Distomo - Loutraki, 230 km
SS04 - Loutraki - Loutraki, 130 km
SS05 - Loutraki - Athens, 155 km
2012/10/11 | 13:37 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/SOLYOM