The Seajets 42nd Palladio Rally, organized on Saturday 2nd December by the Start Line Sports Association, brought the curtain down on the Asphalt Rally Cup of South Greece, the Panhellenic Rally Championship of Historic Cars, the Asphalt Rally Cup of Historic Cars as well as the RallyLegends Cup.
For another year, the race took place thanks to the undivided support of the Municipality of Mandra-Idyllia and Megareo. As was the case in past years, the Service Park was located in the welcoming Gliati square in Mandra Attica, which, in addition to those purely involved in the race, attracted several more visitors, who had the opportunity to combine their walk with watching the service process of racing cars .
In the purely competitive part, the Seajets 42nd Palladium Rally, which after many years was held on a completely dry road surface, gathered 36 entries and consisted of 6 Special Courses with a total length of 40.86 kilometers.
A special moment for the friends of Motor Sports and all the spectators of the race was the moment when the “0” made its appearance. The reason for the Lancia 037 of the crew of Giorgos Vassilakis – Nikos Tsadaris who with this unique Italian car transported us to earlier times when Group B racing cars were used in the races. Leaving aside the magical images of the Lancia 037, we returned to the first E.D. of the Alepochori match.
Stathis Koukeas – Kostas Spyrou (Ford Fiesta R5) were the fastest there, who saw Christos Avgeropoulos – Strato Giavasis (Citroen Saxo) following close behind them. And while everyone was waiting to see the efforts of the rest of the crews in said E.D. there was an exit of Yannis Charalambopoulos – Nikos Xanthos (Honda Civic EP3) which led to the interruption of the special. The crew got out of the exit unscathed, but then the E.D. “Alepochori” was held as a simple one with the rest of the crews heading towards the second Special Route.
In the second E.D. “Agios Ioannis – Megara” saw the first surprise of the race as Thanasis Moschos – Ioannis Samartzis (Renault Clio 1) managed to be the fastest of all by 11 seconds, simultaneously taking the lead while a great battle was fought for the rest of the podium positions. In the next E.D. “Meletaki” Moschos – Samartzis struck again, further increasing the gap from the rest of their pursuers, while we had a change in second place as Avgeropoulos – Giavasis managed to achieve the second fastest time to overcome Koukeas – Spyrou. With the first special loop completed the crews returned to the service park at Gliati Square in Mandra Attica before setting off for the repeat of the three special routes.
Entering the fourth E.D. In “Alepochori” we saw Koukeas – Spyrou make their counterattack, recording the fastest time, while after the end they found themselves a breath away from the runners-up Avgeropoulos – Giavasis. On the other hand, Moschos – Samartzis, although they achieved the third fastest time, saw their lead decrease slightly. And that’s how we got to the fifth ED. “Agios Ioannis – Megara” which turned things upside down in the Seajets 42nd Rally Palladium.
Koukeas-Spyrou, having a broken left leg, initially managed to end the ED. however shortly afterwards they were forced to abandon the race with the crew unable to believe what had happened to them. But the drama would continue at the top of the classification, approaching the last kilometers of the special, the steering wheel of the Renault Clio 1 of Moschos – Samartzis was damaged, as a result of which they lost valuable time as they had a fourth place, simultaneously falling to second place. This misfortune was exploited in the best way by Avgeropoulos – Giavasis who were only 8.08 kilometers away from their second victory in the Palladio Rally. Oper and Egeneto the winners of the 2018 Palladio Rally managed to achieve the fastest time in the last E.D. of the race celebrating in the best way the overall victory in the Seajets 42o Rally Palladio as well as the victory in F2. Moschos – Samartzis finished the race in second place, while a terrible battle was fought until the last kilometer for the third step of the podium.
There, Andreas Nomikos – Alexandros Mataliotakis (Skoda Fabia S2000), succeeded with the second fastest time achieved in the final E.D. of the race to overcome the obstacle of Nikos Karathanasis – Vassilis Karathanasis (Honda Civic EP3), who finished in fourth place. The top five in the Seajets 42nd Palladium Rally was completed by Dimitris Kapralos – Konstantinos Karathanasis (Opel Astra G).
The Seajets 34th Palladio Rally was also the epilogue for the Panhellenic Historic Car Rally Championship. The winners were Marios Stafylopatis – Giorgos Hatzirigas who with the amazing Lancia Delta managed to win all the Special Courses of the race, at the same time closing the year perfectly.
In second place, Yiannis Katsikas – Nikos Babalis (Ford Escort MKII) completed their effort, with Ioannis Tsalamata – Lambros Zografos (Peugeot 309), completing the podium. In fourth place were Alexandros Gerovasilis – Konstantinos Verikakis (Fiat 124), with Lymberis Papazoglou – Maria Nikolopoulou (Lancia Delta), completing the top five.
As far as the RallyLegends Cup is concerned the victory in the Seajets 42nd Palladium Rally was about the Rekka family. The victory was taken by the crew of Panangelos Rekkas – Alexis Menounos (Peugeot 106), with the crew of Viktoros Rekkas – Konstantinos Karliotis (CitroenSaxo), making it 1 – 2 for the Rekkas family. The podium was completed by Ioannis Kalaitjian – Fotis Sotiropoulos (FordaPuma).
The Seajets 42nd Palladium Rally unfortunately also had some abandonments. As we mentioned, Yannis Charalambopoulos – Nikos Xanthos (Honda Civic EP3) opened the dance of misfortunes, with Nikos Zakhaios – Michalis Fragou being put out of the race a little later after a problem with the transmission of the Honda Civic FN2. Giorgos Dekas – Fotis Chiilakis (Citroen Saxo) and Konstantinos Dekas – Aristotelis Barkonikos (Peugeot 205), saw their race end ignominiously in the second special at the mercy of mechanical problems, while in the same E.D. Ioannis Gyzis and Ioanna Pafra were excluded due to a mechanical breakdown in their Renault Clio 1. Manolis Katsarelias – Andreas Stergiou abandoned due to a problem with the VWGolf’s differential, with Nikos Papaloukas – Grigoris Gionis (RenaultClio 2), abandoning due to a mechanical failure in the penultimate stage of the race where we saw Stathis Koukeas also lose all hope of distinction – Kostas Spyrou with the damaged Ford Fiesta R5. The last victim of the Seajets 42nd Palladio Rally was the crew of Konstantinos Kouniakis – Konstantinos Vardakis (PeugeotS 16).
Christos Avgeropoulos – Stratos Giavasis (CitroenSaxo)
“We are very happy to have won this match. We must congratulate everyone especially Thanasis Moschos and Ioannis Samartzis. We are of course happy with our victory but we have a lot of work to do with the car. We are happy firstly for our finish and secondarily for our win. Next year we will be better prepared.”
Thanasis Moschos – Ioannis Samartzis (Renault Clio 1)
“In the first leg, everything went as it should, however, an unfortunate moment in the penultimate stage deprived us of the desired result. Nevertheless, we were happy and next year we will be ready to fight in the championship”.
Andreas Nomikos – Alexandros Mataliotakis (Skoda Fabia S2000)
“For me personally, the race started late as we entered sluggishly because it is the fourth rally I have participated in. We slowly picked up the pace to get to know our car even more and finally a desired result came. Next year we will try to take part in more matches in order to learn our game better”.
Marios Stafylopatis – Giorgos Hatzirigas (Lancia Delta)
“The Palladium Rally is a celebration and we are happy to be able to compete here. It is sad that the participations are few, which shows that our sport is in recession. However, we manage to be at the matches and have fun”.