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Updated: 25 min 18 sec ago

Magalhães puts ERC points first in Cyprus lead battle

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 13:25

Bruno Magalhães has conceded he may be unable to resist pressure from his leading FIA European Rally Championship rivals for a potential win on the Cyprus Rally, prioritising points instead.

Though he is only 12.7s behind rally leader Simos Galatariotis, Magalhães also has Nasser Al-Attiyah closing in rapidly, who is coincidentally also 12.7s behind Magalhães.

"I need to try to keep the podium, this is my goal for the rally. I would like for sure to fight for the victory but I don't have this chance. I cannot make a mistake," Magalhães told ERC Radio reporter and ERC Junior Under 28 competitor Aleks Zawada.

"My goal is to try to go fast without risk and achieve this podium. In the last stages there were a lot of stones and I tried to avoid them as much as I could.

"Sometimes it's not possible to avoid, but sometimes in the slower corners it is, so I do that [when I can]."

Magalhães has already banked five leg points from finishing P3 during Leg One on Saturday. He is currently on course to pick up another five leg points on Sunday, while a podium finish would put him first in the ERC Drivers’ Championship.

The post Magalhães puts ERC points first in Cyprus lead battle appeared first on FIA ERC.

Midday update: Home hero Galatariotis leads tight ERC Cyprus field

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 12:27

Simos Galatariotis has moved into first place on his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship, leading the Cyprus Rally with Bruno Magalhães and Nasser Al-Attiyah close behind.

Galatariotis benefitted from Saturday’s overnight leader Juuso Nordgren rolling his ŠKODA Fabia R5 on stage nine, which handed Galatariotis the lead.

Magalhães had been only 3.3 seconds behind Galatariotis after SS9, but backed off in SS10, putting ERC championship points first and settling for a 12.7s deficit by midday service.

Both are being caught by Al-Attiyah, a five-time winner in Cyprus. He suffered two consecutive punctures on Saturday, limping to service with only three tyres, but has slashed his gap to the leaders in third place, only 18.3s behind Galatariotis.

Nordgren’s retirement moves Norbert Herczig up to fourth position, 1m23.1s off first place. Orhan Avcioğlu is now fifth, despite a morning of curious incidents featuring a broken intercom and a piece of wood becoming lodged in his Toksport WRT-prepared car’s driveshaft on a road section.

Vojtéch Štajf moved his ACCR Czech Team Fabia into sixth place, aided by a time penalty for Dávid Botka in eighth. Sysinfo Rallye Team pilot Botka missed a junction on his way to stage eight, leading to a late arrival and a 20-second penalty that now puts him 8.5s behind Štajf.

Albert von Thurn und Taxis struggled with road sweeping duties as first car on the road, but is still only 13.5s behind Botka in eighth place.

The post Midday update: Home hero Galatariotis leads tight ERC Cyprus field appeared first on FIA ERC.

Breaking news: Nordgren rolls out of ERC Cyprus Rally lead

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 11:09

Juuso Nordgren has rolled out of first place on the Cyprus Rally, but still holds fourth position in the FIA European Rally Championship’s overall order despite his mistake.

Wevers Sport pilot Nordgren made it only one corner into stage nine before going wide and rolling his ŠKODA Fabia R5. Despite extensive body damage, Nordgren was able to continue with only around a minute lost, albeit enough to drop out of the podium places.

“I am really sorry for both team and everyone. I don’t know what to say. I don’t have any explanation. I crashed the car, now our rally is done. I don’t want to explain anything,” Nordgren told ERC Radio.

“We’ll try to continue. We had a long wait before the stage, then at the first corner, very slippery, I went wide there. It was a really amateur mistake with the cold tyres into the first corner.”

Nordgren’s roll promotes local ace Simos Galatariotis to first place, with SEAJETS-backed Bruno Magalhães only 3.3s behind in second place. Nordgren is now 43.1s behind new leader Galatariotis and 22.6s behind defending Cyprus Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah in third. Stage 10 is next up from 12h24 local time.

The post Breaking news: Nordgren rolls out of ERC Cyprus Rally lead appeared first on FIA ERC.

ERC Cyprus Rally delayed by earlier stoppage

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:17

Stage nine of the Cyprus Rally, round four of the FIA European Rally Championship, has been delayed due to an earlier red flag on stage seven.

An accident involving local Cypriot entry George Agathocleous caused event officials o stop Sunday’s opening test, while ERC3 category runners Christos Mannouris, Emma Falcón and Norbert Bereczki were all held at the start line, waiting their turn to tackle the 24.50-kilometre opener.

To allow Mannouris, Falcón, Bereczki and the rest of the field to catch up with the crews ahead, SS9 has been delayed by 39 minutes, with the 11.49-kilometre Lageia run due to kick off at 11h28 local time (10h28 CET) and stage 10 now set to begin at 12h24.

The post ERC Cyprus Rally delayed by earlier stoppage appeared first on FIA ERC.

Botka’s capital gain in the ERC

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:02

Dávid Botka bagged his second stage win in this season’s FIA European Rally Championship with the fastest time of all in the Cypriot capital this morning.

The former ERC2 champion, in a Sysinfo Rally Team ŠKODA Fabia R5, was quickest through the 2.67-kilometre Nicosia SSS, 0.8s ahead of leading local driver Simos Galatariotis.

Botka won the first stage of the 2018 ERC season on the Azores Airlines Rallye in March.

The post Botka’s capital gain in the ERC appeared first on FIA ERC.

Tsoulfotas vows to keep pushing in ERC

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 08:09

Alexandros Tsouloftas won’t give up on his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship despite a stage-six retirement ruling out a shot at the podium.

Tsouloftas, the rising star of Cypriot rallying, was in fourth place and 1.4s behind the final podium spot when he hit trouble 3.5 kilometres from the start of Saturday’s closing Cyta Starouvouni stage.

“I’m not quite sure what happened exactly, we didn’t hit a bank or anything,” Tsouloftas explained in service in Larnaca this morning. “As I was going in fifth gear I hit a little bit the brakes and then the front-right wheel opened up and we almost had a big crash. I saved it in the last second but we couldn’t continue. It seemed the roll joint opened up in a strange way, it was something new for us. I guess it’s just an unlucky event.”

Tsouloftas will restart P11 on the road in his family-run Citroën DS3 R5. He says there is plenty still to do on the Cyprus Rally’s final seven stages, even though his hopes of major success are over.

“We have lost all our opportunities [on this rally] and we’ve also had some bad luck in the Cypriot championship [this year] with some mechanical issues so we’re not playing in that championship either,” he said. “Today we can just [get] some kilometres, trying to push hard and see the limit of the car. Three stages today are new to me, it would be good to learn these stages for future events.”

The post Tsoulfotas vows to keep pushing in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC.

Al-Attiyah plots ERC victory charge on Cyprus Rally

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 07:56

Nasser Al-Attiyah has not given up hopes of a sixth Cyprus Rally victory, despite haemorrhaging time to his FIA European Rally Championship rivals on Saturday through two punctures.

Having already worked around a pop-off valve issue that left his Ford Fiesta R5 down on power on Saturday's morning loop, Al-Attiyah’s defence of his victory last year was made harder still by two punctures in as many stages on Saturday afternoon.

A determined Al-Attiyah still senses a chance for victory, as others hitting trouble means he only has a 48.4s deficit to current rally leader Juuso Nordgren.

“We can try from here to have a good result and win this race because we know the rally,” said Al-Attiyah.

“We try today, everything is open. Today will be a very hard day for everyone.”

Like Nordgren, Al-Attiyah had been affected by a puncture when driving through debris from Alexey Lukyanuk’s crashed Fiesta, although his decision to carry one spare tyre would ultimately prove his undoing.

“Yesterday was not easy for us and for some other drivers with a lot of punctures. We made a wrong decision by taking only one spare, but on the other hand we are lucky to be here.

“We drove stage six with three wheels, so to lose only one minute is not a big thing.”

The post Al-Attiyah plots ERC victory charge on Cyprus Rally appeared first on FIA ERC.

ERC2 Remennik star left to “suffer”

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 07:00

Sergei Remennik says he’s having to “suffer” at home in his native Russia while his ERC2 category rivals battle for glory on the Cyprus Rally, round four of the FIA European Rally Championship.

With rule changes for 2018 allowing drivers to count their best four scores only in ERC2, Remennik has elected not to contest the Larnaca-based event in the Russian Performance Motorsport Mitsubishi Lancer he shares with co-driver Mark Rozin.

“We are very sorry that we can’t attend one of the most beautiful races of this season,” said Remennik. “We liked Cyprus Rally very much last year! A complicated track with dusty trails is a main feature of the Cyprus race, and it’s interesting. It’s not about speed, but about finding a balance on the verge of vehicle endurance and reasonable acceleration. Therefore, overcoming complex special stages leaves a sense of satisfaction as from well-done work.

“Unfortunately, life makes its own allowances, and we are forced to spend this week in a working routine instead of a rally holiday. And we really like the rally, for the second year in a row our work and everyday life are organised in accordance with the rally calendar! We wish all the Cyprus Rally participants good luck, and most importantly – to reach the finish line. We really hope that everyone will enjoy these stages, and we will “suffer” at home!”

The post ERC2 Remennik star left to “suffer” appeared first on FIA ERC.

ERC regular Ptaszek stands firm despite Cyprus rollover

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 06:00

Hubert Ptaszek took determination to another level in the FIA European Rally Championship, finishing Leg One of the Cyprus Rally despite rolling his car on Saturday afternoon.

ERC Junior Under 28 regular Ptaszek endured a tough opening leg on the Cyprus Rally, starting his day with a right rear puncture before overshooting a jump and ending up off-road before midday service.

Ptaszek’s TRT Krezus Rally Team-prepared ŠKODA Fabia R5 was then pushed to its limit on Saturday afternoon, rolling over midway through SS5.

Despite that roll, Ptaszek recovered his Fabia and completed Leg One, albeit nearly 10 minutes behind rally leader Juuso Nordgren.

“It was possible to continue but it took a lot of time to get back on the road,” Ptaszek explained.

In spite of his earlier puncture and overshoot, Ptaszek had been running a solid eighth, 1m34.9s behind then-leader Nasser Al-Attiyah.

The post ERC regular Ptaszek stands firm despite Cyprus rollover appeared first on FIA ERC.

Prince Albert to lead ERC cavalry into Cyprus Leg Two

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 05:00

Albert von Thurn und Taxis will lead the FIA European Rally Championship field into Leg Two of the Cyprus Rally, starting first on the road on Sunday morning.

Though he restarts from ninth place in the overall ERC classification, he is first of ten drivers to have their positions reversed for Sunday’s running order, thanks to being P10 in the Cyprus Rally’s combined rankings.

Vojtéch Štajf (ACCR Czech Team) will send his ŠKODA Fabia R5 into Sunday’s seven stages second on the road, followed by Orhan Avcioğlu (Toksport WRT) and Dávid Botka (Sysinfo Rallye Team) third and fourth out in their respective Fabias.

Overnight leader Juuso Nordgren (Wevers Sport) will restart P10 in the road order, departing after fellow lead contenders Simos Galatariotis and SEAJETS-backed Bruno Magalhães P9 and P8 respectively. Defending Cyprus Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah restarts P7, two minutes after Norbert Herczig (MOL Racing Team) departs.

Notably absent from tomorrow’s road order is Alexey Lukyanyk. His engine sustained heavy damage from a high-speed accident. Antonis Chilimindris will also sit out Leg Two after retiring before final service on Saturday.

Crews will depart the Larnaca service park at 07h50 local time (06h50 CEST), with Von Thurn und Taxis heading into Sunday’s first stage at 08h43 local time (07h43 CEST).

The post Prince Albert to lead ERC cavalry into Cyprus Leg Two appeared first on FIA ERC.

Cyprus Rally live on ERC Radio

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 05:00

The closing leg of the Cyprus Rally will be live on ERC Radio today (Sunday) as the battle for FIA European Rally Championship glory reaches its conclusion.

Ace reporters Chris Rawes and Aleks Zawada will be live from all stages and service halts in Larnaca with all the action and reaction.

ERC Radio is available at FIAERC.com or via the ERC app. It’s on air from 08h30 local time with the opening stage, Cyta Yeti, live from 08h43 local time.

The post Cyprus Rally live on ERC Radio appeared first on FIA ERC.

Panteli new ERC2 leader as Polykarpou is penalised

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 04:00

Panikos Polykarpou has lost his ERC2 lead on the Cyprus Rally after he picked up a 20-second time penalty for leaving Saturday night service two minutes behind schedule.

Cypriot Polykarpou reached Larnaca leading compatriot Petros Panteli in the FIA European Rally Championship’s production class by 19.8s. But the penalty means it’s Panteli who heads the rankings, albeit by a scant 0.2s, with seven stages remaining today.

Polykarpou had won four stages in ERC2 to Panteli’s two on Saturday, establishing an advantage of almost 20 seconds on his home event. That lead was then wiped out when Polykarpou checked out of final service on Saturday evening two minutes late, incurring a 20-second penalty.

“We make a mistake on the calculation actually and were late by two minutes and lost 20 seconds,” Polykarpou explained. “Petros is more familiar with yesterday’s stages. The stages today are new and for me it’s going to be easier to gain more time. I will fight to get it back and I’m pretty confident. I wasn’t pushing yesterday, I controlled the pace and unfortunately we did this mistake and lost all the time we covered.”

Q8 Oils Rally Team pilot Panteli faces a tough challenge to keep Polykarpou at bay on Sunday, considering the latter’s track record on the Cyprus Rally. Polykarpou finished third overall in 2017, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX which he is using once again this year.

While Panteli and Polykarpou will continue their pursuit of Cyprus Rally glory, Andreas Psaltis is set to be a non-starter following his Saturday exit.

The post Panteli new ERC2 leader as Polykarpou is penalised appeared first on FIA ERC.

Pellier sets an example in ERC3 cameo

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 18:10

Laurent Pellier set an example for the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 category contingent, winning all six stages of Leg One on the Cyprus Rally to lead comfortably.

ERC Junior Experience graduate Pellier is a regular campaigner for PEUGEOT Rally Academy in the ERC Junior Under 28 category, but with no points on offer in ERC Junior U28 this weekend, dropped down to ERC3 for Cyprus.

Rather than having his usual PEUGEOT 208 T16 workhorse underneath him, Pellier is driving a 208 R2, prepared by the same Saintéloc Junior Team which is responsible for his ERC Junior U28 assault.

Familiarity with both team and car had a clear effect, as not even a front right puncture could stop him from building a comfortable cushion over his ERC3 rivals.

Artur Muradian completed Leg One second in ERC3 despite driving someone else’s car. His usual TBRacing-prepared machinery, a PEUGEOT 208 R2, was heavily battle scarred from a gruelling EKO Acropolis Rally two weeks prior. This meant his 208 was sent away for repairs while he borrowed a Renault Clio R3 from fellow Acropolis competitor “El Nak Jr”.

While his loaned R3-specification Clio has more power than his usual R2 charge, it also weighs in at 150kg heavier, leaving Muradian to spend most of Leg One adapting his driving style to suit a car he hadn’t driven since 2016.

While his driving on special stages was excellent given his unfamiliar equipment, one small blot on his copybook came before SS4, missing a junction on his roadbook and ending up lost. He soon found his bearings, but arrived at stage time control late, picking up time penalties for his delayed arrival.

Local entrant Constantinos Televantos finished Leg One in third place, keeping his Q8 Oils Rally Team Ford Fiesta R2 on the road and out of major trouble. However, he remains under intense pressure from ERC Ladies' Trophy leader Catie Munnings, who is only 11.6 seconds behind despite a difficult Saturday afternoon.

Pellier’s Saintéloc Junior team-mate Munnings was forced to stop three kilometres from the finish of SS4 to change a puncture, only to sustain a second puncture one stage later. With no spares remaining she backed off in SS6, yet still gained 15.9s on Televantos to set up an exciting battle for Leg Two on Sunday.

Norbert Bereczki completed his first full day of ERC3 competition fifth in class, ahead of Emma Falcón in sixth place. Christos Mannouris had been in a close battle with Bereczki over fifth place initially, but retired at midday service.

The post Pellier sets an example in ERC3 cameo appeared first on FIA ERC.

ERC2: Cyprus locals dominate ERC production field

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 17:32

Panikos Polykarpou led a podium position lockout of Cypriots in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category after Leg One of the Cyprus Rally, leading by 19.8s from compatriot Petros Panteli.

Psaltis Auto Parts driver Polykarpou continued on from his overall podium in last year’s event with a strong Leg One performance, winning four stages from six.

However, those two stages which Polykarpou could not win were instead topped by Q8 Oils Rally Team pilot Panteli, who recovered 7.2s from Polykarpou to keep ERC2’s lead battle alive and well.

As many R5 specification cars seen in ERC’s top category hit trouble, ERC2’s fleet of production-spec Mitsubishi Lancers remained tough, with only one retirement all day amongst the support class field.

Andreas Psaltis had been locked in a fight over second place with Panteli on Saturday morning, but steering failure in SS3 sent him into a ditch, causing a red flag and causing him to retire on the spot.

Psaltis’ retirement allowed Michalis Posedias to elevate his Autotelio Lancer Evo X into a podium position, holding station in third place throughout the remainder of Saturday, 56.9s behind category leader Polykarpou.

Behind a trio of local experts were a pair of familiar ERC faces. Juan Carlos Alonso came closest to breaking a Cypriot podium lockout in Leg One, finishing Saturday 1m26.5s behind Polykarpou.

Alonso’s efforts were compromised by being first on the road, leading ERC’s entire 28-car contingent into every stage. This meant suffering through road sweeping duties, cleaning a path for those who followed.

Zelindo Melegari was pleased to complete a trouble-free day in fifth place, 3m02.8s behind Polykarpou. Despite his gap to the Cypriot frontrunners, it was a welcomed improvement for Melegari after suffering mechanical woes throughout this season to date.

The post ERC2: Cyprus locals dominate ERC production field appeared first on FIA ERC.

Day report: Nordgren leads Cyprus ERC thriller as top three covered by 8.8 seconds

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 16:56

ŠKODA Motorsport-backed junior talent Juuso Nordgren turned in a clean FIA European Rally Championship performance on the Cyprus Rally’s dusty roads, establishing a 4.6-second lead over local expert Simos Galatariotis with Bruno Magalhães 4.2s behind in third following a day of thrilling action and drama.

In a drastic change of fortunes, Nordgren was able to take advantage of the tricky conditions that caught out several rivals to move into first position, a stark contrast to two weeks ago when he retired from the EKO Acropolis Rally with multiple punctures.

Instead, Autotek Motorsport’s Nasser Al-Attiyah suffered a similar fate, picking up a puncture in both the first and second stages during Saturday afternoon’s loop, leaving him short on spares after only taking a single backup tyre when leaving service in Larnaca. Luckily he was able to survive on three wheels, staying in the rally and holding fourth place having moved in front when Alexey Lukyanuk crashed out on stage four.

Cypriot driver Simos Galatariotis is now second on his home event, only 4.6 seconds behind Nordgren. SEAJETS-backed Bruno Magalhães inherited third after Al-Attiyah’s troubles, 8.8s behind Nordgren. Al-Attiyah is now 48.4s adrift of Nordgren in fourth but still in contention with seven Sunday stages remaining.

Local prospect Alexandros Tsouloftas had been set to take a provisional podium spot, but he stopped early on Saturday’s final stage with a broken wishbone and unable to continue further. Norbert Herczig now completes the top five overall in his absence, 1m09.9s behind Nordgren.

Leg One recap: Mixed fortunes for ERC top guns
Saturday morning on the Cyprus Rally began in familiar ERC fashion, with Alexey Lukyanuk leading the way from stage one. Five-time Cyprus winner Nasser Al-Attiyah had been touted as the odds-on favourite to score a sixth victory but his pace was tempered by a pop-off valve issue, leaving him slightly down on power compared to Lukyanuk.

While Lukyanuk and Al-Attiyah duelled for dominance, Juuso Nordgren settled into a safe third position, taking his time to drive safe, clean lines and avoid another double puncture scenario which had ruined his podium chances in Greece two weeks prior.

A tight battle for fourth quickly emerged between ERC regulars and local specialists. Cypriots Simos Galatariotis and Alexandros Tsouloftas were early winners, running fourth and fifth before morning service despite a first-stage puncture for Tsouloftas.

But just as a running order seemed to be settling down, Saturday afternoon blew the Cyprus Rally's lead battle wide open.

Coming through a fast section of Tarmac road, a cracked rim aboard Lukyanuk’s Ford Fiesta R5 spun him out and into a barrier, wrecking his car and putting him out. Though both he and co-driver Alexey Arnautov were uninjured their Russian Performance Motorsport entry was heavily damaged, forcing their retirement and leaving residual debris behind.

Al-Attiyah would inherit first from Lukyanuk’s exit, though not without troubles of his own. A puncture three kilometres into the same test which had claimed Lukyanuk not only cost him time but also forced Al-Attiyah to fit his only spare tyre.

Nordgren was unable to capitalise on Al-Attiyah’s puncture thanks to one of his own aboard his Wevers Sport Fabia, picked up while dodging Lukyanuk’s stranded Fiesta and running through its debris. This demoted him to third, 50.1s behind Al-Attiyah and also 2.0s down on Galatariotis.

Stage five held one last plot twist in the lead battle, a second puncture in as many stages for Al-Attiyah leaving him out of spare tyres to use. He left his shredded tyre on his right rear corner for the leg-closing SS6, dropping over a minute to save his earlier delaminated cover for the road section back to service.

Two successive stage wins for Nordgren after his puncture put him back in first place, 4.6s up on Galatariotis in second.

“We had some really bad luck with what happened to Lukyanyk but I think we’ve learned something from Acropolis,” said Nordgren, referring to his earlier puncture picked up while avoiding Lukyanuk’s damaged car.

“It’s been quite rough today, we didn’t expect so many loose stones, but I think we’ve survived well.”

Bruno Magalhães had struggled to get on top of his Fabia’s set-up on Saturday morning, but was feeling more at home aboard his SEAJETS-backed machine after midday service in Larnaca. Combined with his trademark measured approach, Magalhães surged from sixth to third, his eyes firmly fixed on making up points on championship leader Lukyanyk.

“When I saw that Lukyanuk was out, I realised that I need to finish this day because I score points for this day,” said Magalhães.

“Of course now for tomorrow we try to recover some positions. We have improved the car a lot this afternoon. This morning I was not so happy. We are going to think about the stages for tomorrow because this rally is a big challenge for the set-up.”

Fighting talk from Magalhães came in stark contrast to second placed man Galatariotis, who was focused on securing points for his Cyprus national championship campaign.

“We are trying to finish for the Cyprus championship and score those points, so we took the foot off the [throttle] pedal.”

Tsouloftas had been set to inherit third until a late stoppage on Saturday’s final stage caused him to retire altogether, allowing Magalhães into a podium place and Al-Attiyah to slot his limping Fiesta into fourth.

MOL Racing's four-time Hungarian champion Norbert Herczig demonstrated what could be achieved by a strict safety-first approach, dismissing any desire for a podium push to focus on improving step by step. He had dropped as low as ninth place on Saturday morning, but picked his way up to fifth by day’s end with a clean, no-nonsense drive. He heads into Sunday with a 1m01.9s deficit to rally leader Nordgren.

Dávid Botka was another driver to turn in a quietly efficient performance, taking his Sysinfo Rallye Team Fabia to sixth place, 2m01.2s behind Nordgren. He holds a slim 4.0s advantage over fellow Fabia runner Orhan Avcioğlu in seventh, whose day was far from quiet.

The Toksport-run Turk picked up a puncture through SS5 in an extraordinary fashion, heading off through a field and smashing through fences, deflating a tyre while finding his way back onto the stage.

“I think there’s going to be an angry farmer, I hope he doesn’t find me!” said Avcioğlu, before heading towards service in Larnaca, possibly to seek shelter.

An early tyre gamble on a mixed Tarmac-gravel tread pattern didn’t pan out as ACCR Czech Team pilot Vojtéch Štajf had hoped, but he still finished Leg One in eighth despite a puncture after midday service.

Albert von Thurn und Taxis did well to avoid any major dramas to finish Leg One in ninth, only 4.6s behind Štajf aboard his Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team-prepared Fabia.

ERC2 category leader Panikos Polykarpou demonstrated why he finished third overall on the Cyprus Rally last year, heading his class whilst also holding P10 overall.

The post Day report: Nordgren leads Cyprus ERC thriller as top three covered by 8.8 seconds appeared first on FIA ERC.

Breaking news: Nordgren takes ERC Cyprus Rally lead from Al-Attiyah

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 15:45

Juuso Nordgren has moved into first place overall on the Cyprus Rally, taking advantage of two punctures for chief FIA European Rally Championship rival Nasser Al-Attiyah.

In a drastic change of fortunes, Nordgren was able to take advantage of Cyprus’ tricky conditions catching out rivals to move into first position, a stark contrast to two weeks prior where he retired from EKO Acropolis Rally from multiple punctures.

Instead, Nasser Al-Attiyah suffered a similar fate, picking up a puncture in both the first and second stages in Saturday afternoon’s loop, leaving him short on spares after only taking a single backup tyre when leaving service in Larnaca. Luckily he was able to survive on three wheels, staying in the rally and falling only to fourth place.

Cypriot driver Simos Galatariotis is now second on his home event, only 4.6 seconds behind new leader Nordgren. Bruno Magalhães inherited third place after Al-Attiyah’s troubles, 8.8s behind Nordgren. Al-Attiyah is now 48.4s behind rally leader Nordgren in fourth

Alexandros Tsouloftas had been set to inherit a podium position, but he stopped early in Saturday’s final stage, unable to continue further and dropping out of the points places entirely. Norbert Herczig now completes the top five overall in his absence, 1m09.9s behind Nordgren.

Alexey Lukyanuk had led after midday service, but retired shortly after due to a crash in SS4.

The post Breaking news: Nordgren takes ERC Cyprus Rally lead from Al-Attiyah appeared first on FIA ERC.

NEWSFLASH: Lukyanuk crashes out of ERC Cyprus Rally lead

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 13:54

Alexey Lukyanuk has crashed out of the Cyprus Rally while leading the overall FIA European Rally Championship order, forcing him to retire and handing first place to Nasser Al-Attiyah.

ERC championship leader Lukyanuk held a 5.6 second advantage over Al-Attiyah heading into Saturday afternoon’s stages, but disaster struck when a cracked rim caused him to lose control of his Russian Performance Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5. Thankfully, Lukyanuk and co-driver Alexey Arnautov were unharmed after their crash.

Wevers Sport driver Juuso Nordgren arrived next on the scene, picking up a left rear puncture after taking avoiding action and hitting a rock.

“He was in the middle of the road and we had to over a very big rock. I don’t know what he hit but it was our only choice otherwise we would end up in the barrier,” Nordgren told ERC Radio at stage end.

“I think he just lost it and went to barrier with rear damage. We hit broken parts of his car [so as] not to hit the barrier or his car.”

Al-Attiyah now leads despite tribulations of his own through SS4, picking up a right rear puncture only 3 kilometres into the same test and nursing it to stage end.

The post NEWSFLASH: Lukyanuk crashes out of ERC Cyprus Rally lead appeared first on FIA ERC.

Cyprus Rally SS4 delayed after earlier ERC stoppage

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 12:30

Stage four of the FIA European Rally Championship’s ongoing championship round on the Cyprus Rally has been postponed to 13h59 local time due to an earlier red flag.

Earlier on Saturday stage three was halted after ERC2 category competitor Andreas Psaltis ended up in a ditch, a steering failure sending his Mistubishi Lancer Evolution X into a ditch.

Psaltis’ stranded Lancer blocked passage for drivers behind him and though both he and co-driver Andreas Chrysostomou were fine after their off, stewards had to deploy a red flag to move his car aside.

As several ERC competitors were held for close to an hour at SS3’s start line before setting on their way, stage four has been postponed by 47 minutes to allow those affected to catch up.

Psaltis’ fellow ERC competitor Juan Carlos Alonso will resume ERC action at 13h59 as first car into Saturday afternoon’s re-run of Kellia.

The post Cyprus Rally SS4 delayed after earlier ERC stoppage appeared first on FIA ERC.

Štajf plans ERC Cyprus Rally resurgence after tyre gamble

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 12:16

ACCR Czech Team's Vojtéch Štajf is confident he will improve on this afternoon's FIA European Rally Championship stages of the Cyprus Rally, after attempting a tyre gamble on Saturday morning.

Štajf went in a different direction to that of his rivals at service in Larnaca this morning, taking a tyre which aims to balance gravel and tarmac grip while most selected rubber from Pirelli's range of standard gravel tyres.

"We thought about there being some tarmac parts on the stages, so we decided in the morning to take the gravel-tarmac tyre," Štajf told ERC Radio reporter and ERC Junior Under 28 competitor Aleks Zawada.

"It was so slippy on the gravel parts that I had no confidence and we were quite slow. The gain we had on tarmac was not as much as we lost on the gravel sections. Now we're going for a full gravel tyre [this afternoon]."

"We put some new information to the pace notes after we saw the first pass. I think I'll have more confidence with gravel spec tyres and with the fact we've already run the stages once before this morning."

Feeling freshly prepared for Saturday afternoon's loop, Štajf set his sights on eighth and ninth-placed drivers Norbert Herczig and Hubert Ptaszek, whom he is only 14.8s and 12.5s behind respectively in P10.

"I hope we'll improve because I'd like do similar times as Ptaszek and Herczig, and we're not too far behind them, so it's our goal for this afternoon [to beat them]."

The post Štajf plans ERC Cyprus Rally resurgence after tyre gamble appeared first on FIA ERC.

Lukyanuk fends off Al-Attiyah in early ERC Cyprus battle

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 11:29

FIA European Rally Championship points leader Alexey Lukyanuk has established a 5.6 second lead over Nasser Al-Attiyah on the Cyprus Rally, despite technical issues afflicting both drivers.

Five time Cyprus Rally winner Al-Attiyah dropped 8.4s to Lukyanuk through Kellia, Saturday morning’s opening test, after a pop-off valve issue caused his car to lose power.

Al-Attiyah then regained 2.8s over Saturday morning’s remaining two stages before service, aided by a technical gremlin for rally leader Lukyanuk.

Though he lost little time to Al-Attiyah, Lukyanuk suggested he had lost an opportunity to extend his lead further through a throttle response issue.

“In the middle of the stage we lost response from the throttle. We lost maybe 10-15 seconds as we were rolling to reset the car, so we lost a lot of time,” Lukyanuk told ERC Radio at the finish line of stage three.

“The engine was stopped, nothing was happening, I went straight from fifth to second gear. I’m happy it’s working now and I pray it keeps going.”

Juuso Nordgren holds a steady third place aboard his Wevers Sport ŠKODA Fabia R5, 23.5s behind Lukyanuk but well ahead of a titanic early scrap for fourth position.

Simos Galatariotis started his morning strongly in fifth position, but moved into fourth just before service despite concerns over potential tyre or suspension damage to the front left corner of his Fabia.

1.8s behind Galatariotis was fellow Cypriot Alexandros Tsouloftas, who was recovering from a front-right puncture earlier. His recovery to fifth place before returning to midday service in Larnaca was all the more impressive given he was the first R5-specification car on the road, sweeping clean Cyprus’ loose gravel roads.

Bruno Magalhães had previously headed both Cypriots but fell to sixth place while struggling with a less than ideal set-up. With his car moving around underneath him frequently on Cyprus’ loose gravel surface, Magalhães is planning set-up changes for this afternoon. Only 2.1s separates him from Galatariotis’s fourth place.

Orhan Avcioğlu holds seventh position aboard his Toksport WRT Fabia, 1m24.8s behind rally leader Lukyanuk and only 3.4s ahead of Norbert Herczig in eighth. Hubert Ptasezk is also engaged in a fight for Avcioğlu’s seventh place, 5.1s behind despite a rear-right puncture in SS1 and going too fast over a jump and heading off-road in SS2.

Vojtéch Štajf elected to take a contrarian tyre strategy aboard his ACCR Czech Team Fabia, using a different Pirelli tread construction to his rivals this morning. He finished Saturday morning’s first loop P10, 1m42.7s behind Lukyanuk and is planning a switch back to standard-spec Pirelli gravel tyres for this afternoon.

Panikos Polykarpou leads the ERC2 production category, 23.8s ahead of Q8 Oils Rally Team’s Petros Panteli after SS2.

Polykarpou’s Psaltis Auto Parts team-mate Andreas Psaltis had been running second in class, but broken steering sent Psaltis into a ditch 1.8 kilometres into SS3. That accident caused a red flag, with action yet to resume.

Laurent Pellier leads the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 category, leading Artur Muradian by 1m10.7 aboard his Saintéloc Junior Team PEUGEOT 208 R2.

Pellier’s performance was all the more impressive given he suffered a front-right puncture in SS2, while Muradian is getting to grips with a Renault Clio R3 he borrowed as a late replacement for his usual 208 R2, which is currently being repaired after EKO Acropolis Rally.

Catie Munnings is third in ERC2, 1m30.3 behind her Saintéloc Junior team-mate Pellier and currently leading the ERC Ladies Trophy category.

The post Lukyanuk fends off Al-Attiyah in early ERC Cyprus battle appeared first on FIA ERC.

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ORLEN 74 Rally Poland / Rajd Polski

ORLEN 74 Rajd Polski

Kalendarz 2018

22-24 marca:

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugalia)

03-05 maja:

Rally Islas Canarias (Hiszpania)

01-03 czerwca:

Acropolis Rally (Grecja)

15-17 czerwca:

Cyprus Rally (Cypr)

20-22 lipca:

Rally di Roma Capitale (Włochy)

24-26 sierpnia:

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czechy)

21-23 września:

Rajd Polski

12-14 października:

Rally Liepaja (Łotwa)