Combinations with Greeks who shone in the Historic Acropolis Rally, with the common denominator being… the national racing car, the Toyota Starlet. “Joker” the Corolla of “Car”.
In Skurta the day after the finish of the Historic Acropolis Rally in the glamorous Elefsina, choosing the combinations that upset them, just like their Czech friends with the Skoda Favorit. In the IRA, they upset the timers and “disturbed” the infallible “Greeks with barrels” with the goal, while the competition between them skyrocketed the traffic on omae-live.gr, in a match that at the top level was judged to be uneventful.
Let’s introduce ourselves
We are dealing with Argyriou-Lasco and Papadimitriou-Sigala with front-wheel drive Toyota Starlets. In the classic, Michalis Nomikos-Konstantinos Trovas, with Starlet-giant slayer, with whom Manolis Panagiotopoulos was introduced forty years ago. Also at the meeting was the iconic Corolla, with the magazine’s badges in a prominent position. “Moving forward is an advantage”, comments Kostas Argyriou, “the difference from your art”, adds Lakis Laskos, who for 25 years… has been watching downhill thrillers with him. This Starlet struggles on the uphill, which in the race was favored by the crew’s relationship of trust with the car, but also by the ground and weather conditions. “It doesn’t work…”, you comment, and Zivas replies: “He spreads it out and the m.o.t. stays. high up”. Sotiris Skaltsas, a meter at 1,300 cc, is surprised for the fourth day with the times of Kostis, and adds: “It goes one down”, which means high revs with 1st instead of 2nd gear, and so on. “The 5th only in Prosilio and Karoutes”. Laskos puts a colon in a natural way, as if he were describing measurements on the straight line of Thebes. The preparation-evolution is the work of Kostas Argiriou. It is a light Starlet, correctly tied to the OMP roll cage, while the Bilstein shock absorbers allow air to pass through the “bad”, where Argyriou teaches with art and instinct, a result of his experience. With the fora downhill and in ed. with acquired speeds, and what they gain where convenient, they make sure it is not lost on the uphill.
30-year-old Papadimitriou Jr., Konstantinos, drives the Starlet that stands out from the hood with the factory intake. The difference has to do with the turbo in the 1.3. Horsepower here reaches 110 hp, with high torque in a wide rev range. The excellent performance is the result of the driver’s talent and the serious approach of the passenger. Manolis Sigalas is a restless 40-year-old with an opinion and wider racing experience. Crew that makes the most of the reliability of the 920 kg build. Technical support from PR Development, with technicians Dimitris Papadimitriou, Costas Papadimitropoulos, Thanasis Boutsiko and Haris Pylarinos.
The engine and transmission are production, with a limited slip differential and ready-made Bilstein suspension, a set that inspires the driver to push with confidence. As for the crew, you realize that success is linked to the balance between them. In the team, the role of Constantinos Georgakopoulos is important, a guy without complexes, who drives the Corolla with soul, while he intervenes subtly and with style, without style. The Starlet Turbo is a brilliant choice, allowing them to figure high in the rankings, in races with Historic cars where an alien construction of 100,000 euros is not yet required for the distinction. Supported by Isoclima, LimonetiKids, Sunday, T-Unisale, Papadopoulos parts and Toyota Gazetas.
Back and forth
Travel with the drive back, and it is the wider behavior of Michalis Nomikos that is why we enlisted the almost black Starlet. Giannis Nomikos Jr is at the helm for the photo shoot, and their approach to the institution concerns the history of Greek games. In Nomikos-Kouris you will find a fleet of racing Starlets, as well as Dimitris Vazakas and others. Goodwill in Starlet racing is the “Legal-Kouris” seal. Their “atelier” is in Lykovrysi, and they have the experience as well as the passion to keep the legend competitive. For the… health of the Starlets, they also use solutions from their suppliers, capable of reconstruction.
The racing history Starlet has a 1.3 engine in a version with a double carburettor. The rack and support of the rear suspension, with Bilstein shock absorbers, is a plus, while the production gearbox is used, with a short final ratio and a controlled differential. Properly set up and reliable, it gives pleasure, while “annoying” times do occur. Proof by Thanos S. Athanasoulas-Vassilis Basioukas. If you also want duration, you follow the philosophy of Michalis Nomikos, combining the calm strength of his co-driver, Konstantinos Trovas. Nothing by chance, but as it turns out, hardware failure is weathered. The effort is supported by Ypsilon Electronics, Human Dynamics, Magna Power, EBC brakes, Fanatix models.
The joy of “Car”
The Racing Star Corolla of the DH Rally team with technical support from Tsourgiannis Motorsport. The suspension is the responsibility of Mr. Panos Konstantakos, the electrics by Nikolas Babalis. Dream team for development-maintenance, Pirelli tires advantage, and a combination-point of reference results. The following is the comment of Dimitris Amaxopoulos from the bucket. “One year and a few months after last year’s first contact on the dirt, and with Hara Moraitis we participated in the Historic Rally Acropolis, to complete the Championship. Not interested in points, since with the factors in the rating we were already in a very good position. Important people who gave us the opportunity to enter the soil, such as Takis Koutsikos and Nikos Pavlidis. Our sponsors are Racing Star, Corfos Hotel Mykonos, Casa e Campo, ERCO, Bright and D. Tzambazis. The difference in the result comes from Dimitris Tsourgianni’s team. Half reliability from Toyota and half from Tsourgiannis Motorsport. Our technicians are important in the preparation and during the match, and we thank Dimitris and Akis Tsourgiannis, George Tzounopoulos and “Christoforo” Diamantopoulos.
A three-day race with a fifty-year-old car looks and feels like a mountain, and let the special routes not be thousands of km long, like when the Corolla was new and nice. You can’t find spare parts, while the pace is at the limits of the damaged “cart”. In the direct competition, but also in the general classification, with the first in another race and the good 2 liters elusive, the performances of Papadimitriou-Sigala and Argyriou-Laskos were excellent, when we, with more cubic meters and power, but also more weight, pulled and endlessly, we fought not to lose touch in the closed pieces. In the open, things are clearly easier and our pace was more competitive. But there is great joy in finishing with an old car in a dirt race, which was normally not a carpet in terms of road surface, and that is the definition of the Historic Acropolis Rally!
By the way, the race should be in May-June, for many reasons. In any case, we cannot downplay that there was “fatigue” for those who participated in the History Championship, with the RA at the end of the institution, being the most demanding competition in terms of preparation and expenses. We could all write several paragraphs about the adventure that is the Acropolis Historic Rally, but let’s end this mini-recap with this: Squatting and side-sliding on some of the world’s most famous special courses, such as the Bauxites, it’s a very strong feeling, impressive for us competitors as well, and I hope the conditions allow it so we can experience it again”. Let’s complete: Lies are bad._ S. X.
In the buckets: Amaxopoulos, Argyriou, Nomikos Jr, Papadimitriou
Guests: Zivas, S. Skaltsas, Synetos, K. Georgakopoulos
Photos: Thanos Iliopoulos