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Greek tragedy

Driver dies in accident

European championship

The 28th Achaia Elpa Rally (the 9th round of the European Rally Championship) began as planned when Miguel Campos led off the teams at the start of the first leg of the all asphalt rally.

However already on Stage 1, tragedy struck when Dimitris Koliopanos and Theofanis Hasiotis in a Toyota Yaris, went off the road 3km from the end. He hit a wooden pole with a 2 ton electrical transformer on the top, and this fell on top of the car.

Koliopanos, whose father is a Greek Member of Parliament, was killed and his co- driver taken to hospital.

When the teams arrived back at the first service of the day, they entered a 30 minute unscheduled re-grouping, whilst the Organising Committee could consider the situation. All the Greek drivers wished to retire and did so, but the three cars involved in the European Championship decided to continue until ordered to stop by the Stewards.

They continued out to Stage 4, but before they could start, the Organising Committee proposed a halt to the rally pending a final decision from the Stewards.

After the first 3 Stages, Thiry had a lead of 5.7 seconds over Campos.

Our prayers go out to the family of Dimitris Koliopanos and wish Theofanis Hasiotis a speedy recovery. No matter if you know them or not...it is another sad point in the rally commuinity world-wide....

Denise McMahon
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