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Updated: 58 min 49 sec ago

Al-Attiyah tops Cyprus Rally Qualifying Stage on ERC return

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 09:53

Nasser Al-Attiyah kicked off his return to the FIA European Rally Championship with victory in Rally Cyprus’ Qualifying Stage, beating Juuso Nordgren by 1.8 seconds.

Al-Attiyah is Cyprus Rally’s defending winner, having won five times in total, more than anyone else. This meant it was little surprise when he piloted his Autotek Motorsport-prepared Ford Fiesta R5 to first place in Qualifying, ahead of Nordgren’s Wevers Sport-run ŠKODA Fabia R5.

“We have a really positive feeling, a really good atmosphere working with the team,” Nordgren told ERC Radio stage end reporter Chris Rawes.

“It seems Nasser found some special lines in here, he’s so much faster. I’m happy to beat [Alexey] Lukyanuk. We’re not in attack mode, we need a clean finish to restart our season.”

Championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk, who has two wins under his belt in ERC this season, admitted he had a difficult challenge on his hands against Al-Attiyah, going 2.5s slower than him in the Qualifying Stage to be third fastest.

“I think he knows how to drive these roads better than we do. It’s not a big drama,” said Lukyanuk of Al-Attiyah.

Orhan Avcioğlu was fourth quickest aboard his Toksport WRT-prepared Fabia, 4.5s slower than Al-Attiyah. Simos Galatariotis mirrored his finishing position at the ERC’s previous round on EKO Rally Acropolis by going fifth quickest, 0.2s behind Avcioğlu.

SEAJETS-backed driver Bruno Magalhães was only sixth fastest, 5.1s behind Al-Attiyah. Former ERC2 regular Vojtéch Štajf was seventh on his ERC return, now driving a Fabia R5 and 6.0s behind Al-Attiyah in the Qualifying Stage.

ERC regulars Hubert Ptasezk (TRT Krezus Rally Team), Norbert Herczig (MOL Racing Team) and Dávid Botka (Sysinfo Rallye Team) completed the top 10.

Albert von Thurn und Taxis took his BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team-prepared Fabia to P11, ahead of Paulo Nobre in P12 with his own  Palmeirinha Rally team.

Alexandros Tsouloftas, who had shown good pace in the ERC last time out on EKO Rally Acropolis, was 13.3s slower than Al-Attiyah in P13. Most of his time loss came from overshooting a fast corner, meaning he had to reverse his Citroën DS3 R5 back onto the stage.

Petros Panteli was quickest of those in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category, P14 overall with his production-spec Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X prepared by Q8 Oils Rally Team. Panteli’s ERC2 rival Juan Carlos Alonso will be last to pick in this afternoon’s road order selection, thanks to scoring P15 in qualifying.

Road order selection kicks off in Cyprus Rally’s service park on Phinikoudes Beachfront, Larnaca at 13h30 local time (12h30 CEST).

The post Al-Attiyah tops Cyprus Rally Qualifying Stage on ERC return appeared first on FIA ERC.

ERC Cyprus Rally facts and stats

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 06:00

The Cyprus Rally, round four of the FIA European Rally Championship, gets underway today with the Qualifying Stage from 10h08 followed by the ceremonial start 19h00. Here are some essential facts and stats.

CYPRUS RALLY IN NUMBERS:
1970: The Cyprus Rally’s origins date back to 1970 when Victor Zachariades won in a Fiat 125. The 47th running in 2018 is the first to be based in Larnaca, a contemporary city with many attractions, eateries and historical sights as well as the popular Finikoudes beachfront.

5: Nasser Al-Attiyah is the Cyprus Rally’s most successful driver with five wins to his name, which is one more than world rallying legend Sébastien Loeb managed.

9: There have been nine ‘home’ winners of the Cyprus Rally since the first edition in 1970. Nicos Thomas and Spiros Georgiou were the last Cypriot pair to triumph in 2008.

204.92: Crews will tackle 204.92 timed kilometres over 13 stages. Cyta Yeri is the longest at 22 kilometres, Nicosia SSS the shortest at 4.82 kilometres.

65: Event organisers have attracted a 65-strong entry with 50 crews registered for the international rally.

CYPRUS RALLY FAST FACTS
*While Nasser Al-Attiyah is the rally’s most successful driver with five victories, other winners include Stig Blomqvist, Colin McRae, Petter Solberg, Ari Vatanen and current European championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk, who took top honours in 2016.

*The Cyprus Rally has formed part of the ERC calendar in its various formats since 1978. From 2014 it’s been ever-present on the European calendar when the event was based in Nicosia after a spell in Pafos.

*As well as counting for ERC points, the Cyprus Rally is a round of the Cypriot and FIA Middle East championships, the latter attracting competitors from Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

*Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean behind Sicily and Sardinia. There are 380 rural villages in the republic, while Mount Olympus in the Troodos Range peaks at 1951 metres.

*It took four months for Cyprus Rally organisers to put on their first world championship rally after the event was called up as a late replacement for the cancelled China Rally in May 2000.

*The event’s popular Golden Stage format is back for 2018 with the results of the final two stages combined to decide the Golden Stage winner. A prize fund of 6000 euros will be shared between the overall fastest driver, the top 2WD competitor and the top Cypriot crew.

The post ERC Cyprus Rally facts and stats appeared first on FIA ERC.

Magalhães flies high in Cyprus ERC testing

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 18:00

This is Bruno Magalhães flying high in testing for the Cyprus Rally, round four of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship.

Driving his SEAJETS-backed ŠKODA Fabia R5, Magalhães was in action in the Tseri region of Cyprus earlier this week.

Several of the Portuguese ace’s rivals, including ERC title leader Alexey Lukyanuk and record-breaking Cyprus winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, were also testing.

Magalhães starts the Cyprus Rally in Larnaca on Friday evening on the back of winning the EKO Acropolis Rally in Greece at start of June. He’s 14 points behind Lukyanuk in the battle to become European champion following his win alongside co-driver Hugo Magalhães.

The post Magalhães flies high in Cyprus ERC testing appeared first on FIA ERC.

Progress and enjoyment: von Thurn und Taxis impressing in second ERC season

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 12:00

Albert von Thurn und Taxis is making FIA European Rally Championship start number 12 in Cyprus this week still chasing his first points of the season but improving all the time.

The ex-GT racer is building his rallying experience event by event having made the switch from track to stage a handful of seasons ago. So far, the move is going to plan.

“I'm enjoying it massively, I mean massively, but there has to be improvements, absolutely [in my second year],” said the Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-run driver. “Not necessarily in terms of position, not necessarily in terms of classification but in terms of seconds per stage kilometre we are really looking at comparing and we need to see improvements. So far, thank God that is the case. But there are so many things that need to be improved, that is the incredible thing.”

To further that improvement, von Thurn und Taxis took advantage of a clashing event for regular co-driver Bjorn Degandt to try out German pacenotes and get additional feedback by linking up with fellow German speaker Frank Christian for the EKO Acropolis. Despite an accident on leg two cutting the number of competitive kilometres they covered, it proved a useful exercise.

However, von Thurn and Taxis and Degandt will be reunited for the Cyprus Rally, which is based in Larnaca from 15-17 June when more progress is the aim for the popular Rome resident.

The post Progress and enjoyment: von Thurn und Taxis impressing in second ERC season appeared first on FIA ERC.

Ingram targets Rome ERC return

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 06:00

Chris Ingram is set to return to FIA European Rally Championship action on next month’s Rally di Roma Capitale after a truncated start to his season due to illness.

Ingram stepped up to the ERC Junior Under 28 class as ERC Junior Under 27 champion with a standout class victory on the Azores season opener in March, his first event in an R5 car.

However, he fell ill in the build up to Rally Islas Canarias in early May and was forced to withdraw on the opening day to undergo medical treatment.

But posting on his official Facebook account from his current base in Istanbul, Briton Ingram revealed a return is getting close after he was forced to pull his EKO Acropolis Rally entry and will be a non-starter when the Cyprus Rally begins in Larnaca tomorrow (Friday).

“Finally some good news,” he wrote. “Doctors in Istanbul say my blood levels are getting better and I should feel more normal in another week or two. One thing is for sure I will fight back in the next round of the ERC Under 28s in Rome in July. Massive thanks for everyone's support over the last several weeks.”

Ingram, who forms part of the Toksport WRT line-up in the ERC alongside co-driver Ross Whittock, is backed by clothing firm 11 Degrees, CarFinance 247 and Andrews Sykes Group.

The post Ingram targets Rome ERC return appeared first on FIA ERC.

Cypriot President’s man goes for a spin with ERC contender Al-Attiyah

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 18:00

Phivos Zachariades, who advises Cypriot President Anastasiades on matters relating to sport, got a ride of a lifetime when he accompanied Nasser Al-Attiyah during testing for this week’s FIA European Rally Championship counter.

Mr Zachariades accompanied Al-Attiyah – the five-time Cyprus Rally winner – during a test in the Tseri region of Cyprus in what was a significant moment. The President’s advisor is the brother of Victoras Zachariades, who won the first Cyprus Rally back in 1970.

According to the event organisers, “Mr Zachariades witnessed the new breed of rally cars up close, and upon his return had remarked on their incredible speed and technology as well as Al-Attiyah’s impeccable driving”.

The Cyprus Rally, which is based in Larnaca from 15-17 June, forms the fourth event of the ERC season.

The post Cypriot President’s man goes for a spin with ERC contender Al-Attiyah appeared first on FIA ERC.

Falcón versus Munnings in ERC Ladies’ Trophy

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:00

Emma Falcón and Catie Munnings will battle for ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours when Cyprus hosts the fourth event of the FIA European Rally Championship season from 15-17 June.

Canary Islander Falcón, who competes in a Citroën DS3 R3T, is 27 points in front of her British rival having out-scored her 2:1.

Falcón starts in Cyprus for the first time on the back of a battling performance on the EKO Acropolis Rally where she reached the finish despite a loss of brakes in the closing stages.

Fellow Cyprus rookie Munnings, who competes in a lower-specification PEUGEOT 208 R2, last rallied on gravel in the Azores in March.

Falcón (left) and Munnings (right) are pictured on Rally Islas Canarias this year filming the ERC’s May The Fourth Be With You Star Wars tribute video. Click here to take a look.

The post Falcón versus Munnings in ERC Ladies’ Trophy appeared first on FIA ERC.

Don’t count on flat-out push for victory, says ERC leader Lukyanuk

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 06:00

Alexey Lukyanuk has suggested that he might not go flat-out in order to return to winning ways in the FIA European Rally Championship in Cyprus this week.

The Russian’s unbeaten run ended on the EKO Acropolis Rally earlier this month and his leg-two retirement allowed Bruno Magalhães to slash his title advantage to 14 points.

Speaking ahead of the Cyprus Rally, which is based in Larnaca from 15-17 June, Lukyanuk said multiple winner Nasser Al-Attiyah’s appearance on the event – which is currently a one-off – has altered his way of thinking.

“We know Nasser can be really fast and if it takes too much risk to compete with him maybe we will think to back off a bit and score as much points as we can without taking any extra risks,” Lukyanuk said. “But on the other hand if we feel really comfortable and confident to set a really good pace then we will do that. It depends on many things but definitely we will think when we see after the recce before we make the final decision about our approach to the event.”

The post Don’t count on flat-out push for victory, says ERC leader Lukyanuk appeared first on FIA ERC.

From the aisle to the ERC top 10: Avcioǧlu reflects on big week

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:00

Orhan Avcioǧlu went from the wedding aisle to the top 10 in the FIA European Rally Championship during a glorious seven days recently.

After getting married in Istanbul on 27 May, Avcioǧlu flew to Greece to begin his preparations for the EKO Acropolis Rally where he landed his first ERC top 10 finish in his Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5 on 3 June.

“I had to leave for the airport to come [to Greece] literally one hour after the wedding, which didn’t go down too well as you can imagine!” Avcioǧlu said. “My wife chose the date and she knows my calendar! About a week to go she started to have some goosebumps about it but I couldn’t change anything after that but of course I was missing my wife at the end of the rally.”

Of his eighth place finish in Lamia, Avcioǧlu said: “We didn’t take too many risks I would say, we tried to take it clean and steady because the most important thing for us was to get to the finish. The Acropolis is such a huge event so to finish first time of asking is quite nice. If [I did not have the] puncture who knows but everything has reasons I guess. Thank you to the team and the spectators. It’s been an incredible week.”

Next up for the Turkish talent is the Cyprus Rally from 15-17 June.

Avcioǧlu, pictured at the start beneath the Acropolis in Athens, donned special commemorative overalls for the EKO Acropolis Rally to mark his recent marriage. 

The post From the aisle to the ERC top 10: Avcioǧlu reflects on big week appeared first on FIA ERC.

To the capital they will come: Nicosia street stage for ERC counter

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:00

The FIA European Rally Championship drivers contesting this week’s Cyprus Rally will be converging on Nicosia on Sunday morning for the ever-exciting superspecial.

Based around the Markos Drakos area in the centre of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia SSS is a 4.82-kilometre test of speed and precision as drivers negotiate the challenging layout, which has become a huge magnet for fans in recent years.

First run in 2014 to mark the Cyprus Rally’s return to the ERC roster following a 15-year absence, the ground-breaking street stage received widespread praise for crossing through the United Nations-controlled Buffer Zone between Nicosia’s Greek Cypriot and Turkish inhabited areas. It also created considerable interest, including within the UN.

However, while the stage remains on the 2018 itinerary, what have been described by the event organisers as “technical issues” means the stage won’t venture into Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus this year. Nevertheless, it will be one of the highlights of this year’s Cyprus Rally when it takes place from 09h36 local time on Sunday 17 June.

The post To the capital they will come: Nicosia street stage for ERC counter appeared first on FIA ERC.

Saintéloc youngsters bid for ERC3 glory

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 06:00

Saintéloc Junior Team drivers Catie Munnings and Laurent Pellier will form part of an exciting ERC3 line-up on this week’s Cyprus Rally.

While Briton Munnings is a regular in the category, her French team-mate Pellier (pictured) is stepping back from the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship to showcase the pace and strength of the PEUGEOT 208, which he used to claim one-make title glory in his native France last season.

“It's a huge pleasure to take part on the mythical Cyprus Rally,” said Pellier. “I would like to thank the Saintéloc Junior Team for this opportunity and their trust. I can’t wait to get back behind the steering wheel of the PEUGEOT 208 R2. It’s an enjoyable and easy car to drive, reliable and good for young drivers. My goal is to win the 2WD class and show the PEUGEOT 208 is the reference in the R2 class.”

Of Pellier's likely opposition, aside from Munnings, Russia’s Artur Muradian was quick but out of luck in Greece earlier this month, while Canary Islander Emma Falcón won stages and plaudits on the Acropolis for not giving up despite worsening brake problems.

And her determination was rewarded with top ERC Ladies’ Trophy points. Hungarian Norbert Bereczki makes his ERC3 debut, while Cypriots Christos Mannouris and Constantinos Televantos complete the ERC3 contingent in their two-wheel-drive machines.

The post Saintéloc youngsters bid for ERC3 glory appeared first on FIA ERC.

ERC champions past and present impress in Sardinia

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 18:00

Three notable winners of the FIA European Rally Championship were on impressive form when the world championship Rally Italia Sardegna took place last week.

Esapekka Lappi, the ERC champion of 2014, finished third while his former factory ŠKODA team-mate Jan Kopecký, ERC champion in 2013, took the WRC2 laurels in a fine eighth overall.

Meanwhile, Kajetan Kajetanowicz (pictured), the winner of the last three ERC titles, claimed a strong seventh on his step up to the global stages with his LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5 setting top-three stage times in class to boot.

“We have finished an extremely difficult Rally Italia Sardegna and our stage times allowed us to claim second position in this leg,” said Pole Kajetanowicz, who was beginning a new partnership with co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak. “I was the only WRC2 rookie here and we managed to set some top-three times. I had not expected it before the start because I know the rhythm of getting to know the characteristics of a given rally and you cannot take express classes on this subject.

“We have learned a lot over the course of the weekend, we know what can be improved. I want to thank everyone for their huge support.”

The post ERC champions past and present impress in Sardinia appeared first on FIA ERC.

Golden Stage back for ERC Cyprus Rally

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 12:00

The Cyprus Rally’s popular Golden Stage format is back for 2018 with drivers from the FIA European Rally Championship in contention for a cash boost.

Event organisers have pledged a prize fund of 6000 euros to be shared between the overall fastest driver, the top 2WD competitor and the leading Cypriot crew when taking into account the combined results of the rally’s final two stages on Sunday 17 June.

The PSALTIS AUTOPARTS Golden Stage 1 covers a distance of 12.67 kilometres from 15h28 local time. ENEOS Golden Stage 2, which measures 19.82 kilometres in length, is the final stage of the rally and is due to get underway at 16h53.

The post Golden Stage back for ERC Cyprus Rally appeared first on FIA ERC.

Al-Attiyah: there is no secret to success on Cyprus ERC counter

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 06:00

The most successful driver in Cyprus Rally history says hard work and experience are key to his record number of event wins as opposed to any secret ingredient.

Nasser Al-Attiyah’s tally of five victories on the FIA European Rally Championship qualifier is one more than rallying legend Sébastien Loeb notched up.

When Al-Attiyah’s eight victories on the country’s Troodos Rally – a former FIA Middle East championship fixture – are taken into account then it’s little wonder why the Qatari is ranked as a major force to be reckoned with.

“There is no secret but I work very hard and we have the experience,” said the Autotek Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5 driver. “The rally is a mix between slow stage, medium stage and fast stage and we need to manage the speed on the different stage.”

And of the gruelling ambient and ground temperatures expected in Cyprus this week, Al-Attiyah is no fazed: “The hot weather is no problem because we do a lot of race like the Dakar Rally where we stay 12 hours inside the car in hot temperatures. But we know this race is really hard and very hot. It’s my favourite rally and we try to do our best.”

The Cyprus Rally is based in Larnaca from 15-17 June.

The post Al-Attiyah: there is no secret to success on Cyprus ERC counter appeared first on FIA ERC.

He’s back: Štajf returns to ERC in Cyprus

Sun, 06/10/2018 - 06:00

Vojtéch Štajf, who battled Dávid Botka for the ERC2 title in 2015, will be returning to the Cyprus Rally three years after last taking part on the challenging gravel event, the fourth round of the FIA European Rally Championship season.

Štajf, a guest entrant for the ACCR Czech Team in Cyprus, is contesting a programme of Czech and Middle East championship events in 2018 but is eligible for ERC points in Cyprus where he will drive a ŠKODA Fabia R5 for his own team, Racing 21.

“My first and only start in Cyprus was in 2015 with a Subaru Impreza when I finished third in ERC2,” said the popular Czech driver. “In 2018 my plan is to enter selected MERC events to present my team and possibly search for a customer in 2019 in this championship. So I did the Jordan Rally in April, finishing second behind Nasser Al-Attiyah.

“I liked Cyprus very much three years ago and the organisers are very kind and helpful, the special stages are demanding and it counts both for ERC and MERC so I have decided to omit round four of the Czech championship and start in Cyprus the very same weekend instead.

“I am quite curious how fast can I be here with an R5 car, where I still lack experience on gravel, as this will be my only third start with R5 on loose surface. It is attractive for me to compare with the regular ERC field as there is much bigger competition than in MERC rallies, but I will definitely focus more on MERC points than ERC.”

Marcela Ehlová will co-drive Štajf in Cyprus after she returned to competition one month ago.

The post He’s back: Štajf returns to ERC in Cyprus appeared first on FIA ERC.

Panteli seeks home reward…. and more ERC action

Sat, 06/09/2018 - 06:00

Cypriot Petros Panteli heads to his upcoming home round of the FIA European Rally Championship aiming to banish the misfortune that ruled out an ERC2 podium on last week’s EKO Acropolis Rally.

Panteli, who is co-driven by countryman Kypros Christodoulou, was on course for third place in Greece in his Q8 Oils-backed Mitsubishi Lancer, only for a mechanical issue on the final stage to drop him back to fourth behind Zelindo Melegari.

“The Cyprus Rally is a lot easier than the Acropolis Rally, it’s actually faster,” said Panteli. “We know the special stages from the past but some are new because they are in the opposite way round. We are aiming higher and higher. Overall victory would be impossible but in ERC2 that is our aim.”

Christodoulou explained there was a chance the Cypriot pair could make further ERC appearances in 2018. ‘We are waiting for our sponsors for some help so we can continue in ERC we have plans to do one or two more races,” he said.

The Cyprus Rally is based in Larnaca from 15-17 June.

The post Panteli seeks home reward…. and more ERC action appeared first on FIA ERC.

Galatariotis plots even better ERC result in Cyprus

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:00

Simos Galatariotis has vowed to improve upon the fifth place he scored on the EKO Acropolis Rally when the FIA European Rally Championship heads to his native Cyprus next week.

Galatariotis will contest the Cyprus Rally in ŠKODA Fabia R5 on the back of a strong showing in Greece last weekend.

“I was very happy on the Acropolis Rally because I didn’t have such high expectations,” said Galatariotis. “But everything went well, the tyre strategy worked, we took caution in many places and it worked well in the end. You can expect better from me in Cyprus for sure.”

The post Galatariotis plots even better ERC result in Cyprus appeared first on FIA ERC.

Event preview: ERC aces facing ultimate test on Cyprus Rally

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 12:00

For more than four decades, the Cyprus Rally has put car and crew to a significant test. And while the current format is a little less taxing than it once was, underestimating the demanding nature of this rallying heavyweight would be a big mistake.

Although it’s fundamentally a gravel rally, a handful of sections take place on asphalt, which will further increase the challenge when the event gets underway from its new base in Larnaca from 15-17 June.

Add to the mix the searing ambient and ground temperatures, and it quickly becomes clear why the Cyprus Rally is ranked as an ultimate test of driver and car.

Chosen by the FIA, motorsport’s global governing body, for having the best volunteer organising team in the world following the 2017 edition, Cyprus Rally bosses have built on that recognition with a new base, overhauled route and impressive 65-car entry, with 50 contesting the ERC-counting international event.

Among the drivers in action is Nasser Al-Attiyah, the most celebrated driver in Cyprus Rally history with a record five wins – plus eight on the country’s Troodos Rally for good measure. The Qatari’s last victory came in 2017 when he revealed just why he’s so prolific on the Cypriot stages.

“There is no secret but I work very hard and we have the experience,” said the Autotek Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5 driver. “The rally is a mix between slow stage, medium stage and fast stage and we need to manage the speed on the different stage. The hot weather is no problem because we do a lot of race like the Dakar Rally where we stay 12 hours inside the car in hot temperatures. But we know this race is really hard and very hot. It’s my favourite rally and we try to do our best.”

Following his crucial EKO Acropolis Rally victory last time out, Bruno Magalhães will head to Cyprus rejuvenated and firmly back in the title fight in his ARC Sport ŠKODA Fabia R5. Without a 2018 win prior to his Greek triumph, SEAJETS-backed Magalhães is now 14 points behind Alexey Lukyanuk, who suffered his first retirement of 2018 in Greece when he broke his Ford Fiesta R5’s suspension on a rock.

Lukyanuk has vowed to “look positively and focus” to ensure the Acropolis was just a temporary blip for the otherwise excellent Russian, while Portugal’s Magalhães is just relieved to be heading to Cyprus after only learning he’d have the budget to take part shortly after celebrating his win in Greece.

Add Norbert Herczig and fellow Acropolis podium finisher Hubert Ptaszek, local aces Simos Galatariotis and Alexandros Tsouloftas, ŠKODA-backed Juuso Nordgren and a host of other ERC regulars such as Orhan Avcioǧlu, Dávid Botka, Paulo Nobre and Albert von Thurn und Taxis, and this year’s Cyprus Rally is set to produce the usual blend of intense competition, drama and excitement.

To mark the Cyprus Rally’s return to the ERC roster in 2014 for the first time since 1999, a ground-breaking street stage through the United Nations-controlled Buffer Zone between Nicosia’s Greek Cypriot and Turkish inhabited areas was organised and generated considerable interest, including within the UN. However, while the stage remains on the 2018 itinerary, what have been described by the event organisers as “technical issues” means the stage won’t venture into Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus this year.

With 13 stages over a timed distance of 204.92 kilometres, the Cypus Rally begins with Free Practice and Qualifying on 15 June followed by two days of action north and west of Larnaca.

ERC2: Panteli seeks home reward
With Tibor Érdi Jr and Sergei Remennik using next month’s Rally di Roma Capitale for their next scoring opportunity, Juan Carlos Alonso and Zelindo Melegari will be aiming to take advantage of their absence by adding to their season totals. And after crashing out of the podium battle in Greece, Argentine Alonso will be eager to do just that. Petros Panteli will also be searching for a strong finish to make up for his Acropolis disappointment when a mechanical failure on the final stage ruled out a seemingly certain third place. Cypriot youngster Panikos Polykarpou – second overall among the ERC runners in Cyprus last year – Michalis Posedias and Andreas Psaltis will also be in the hunt for production category points.

ERC3: Saintéloc youngsters in the battle for class success
Saintéloc Junior Team drivers Catie Munnings and Laurent Pellier will form part of an exciting ERC3 line-up on the Cyprus Rally, with Pellier stepping back from the ERC Junior Under 28 Championship to showcase the pace and strength of the PEUGEOT 208 on what is a traditionally demanding rally. Russia’s Artur Muradian was quick but out of luck in Greece, while Canary Islander Emma Falcón won stages and plaudits on the Acropolis for not giving up despite worsening brake problems. And her determination was rewarded with top ERC Ladies’ Trophy points. Hungarian Norbert Bereczki makes his ERC3 debut, while Cypriots Christos Mannouris and Constantinos Televantos complete the ERC3 contingent in their two-wheel-drive machines.

And in other news…
*The Cyprus Rally represents another new event for four-time Hungarian champion Norbert Herczig, who bagged his first ERC podium in Greece in his MOL Racing Team ŠKODA.
*After co-driving his young compatriot Hubert Ptaszek to a fine third place on the EKO Acropolis Rally, Pole Maciej Szczepaniak has joined forces with three-time ERC champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz for this week’s world championship Rally Italia Sardegna. However, he will be back with Ptaszek in Cyprus.
*Promising Cypriot Alexandros Tsouloftas showed plenty of speed in Greece only for a driveshaft failure to force his exit nearing the end of leg two. Fellow Cypriot Simos Galatariotis, a multiple champion in the country, also impressed in fifth place having upgraded to a ŠKODA Fabia R5 since his last Cyprus Rally appearance in 2017 in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.
*Toksport’s Orhan Avcioǧlu, from Turkey, and Motorsport Italia-run Brazilian Paulo Nobre start in Cyprus on the back of scoring their first ERC points in Greece.
*ŠKODA-supported Finn Juuso Nordgren, 21, will continue his experience-building mission on the Cyprus Rally following a stage-winning ERC debut in Greece.
*After linking up with Frank Christian for the EKO Acropolis Rally, the ever-improving Albert von Thurn und Taxis – a former GT racer – is reunited with Belgian co-driver Bjorn Degandt for Cyprus, which means a switch back to English-language pacenotes after German instructions were used in Greece.
*Reigning ERC Junior Under 27 champion Chris Ingram appears on the Cyprus Rally entry list in a Toksport ŠKODA, but a call on his participation depends on his recovery from illness.
*Vojtéch Štajf, who battled Dávid Botka for the ERC2 title in 2015, is a guest entrant for the ACCR Czech Team. The popular Czech is contesting a programme of national and Middle East events in 2018 but has registered for ERC points in Cyprus where he will drive a ŠKODA Fabia R5 for his own team, Racing 21.
*Cypriot drivers Panayiotis Yiangou and Antonis Chilimintris complete the ERC1 runners in a Hyundai i20 R5 and Citroën DS3 R5 respectively.

Watch and listen
Highlights from both legs will be shown on Eurosport and available on Eurosport Player. ERC Radio will broadcast live from stage finishes and selected service park visits.

The post Event preview: ERC aces facing ultimate test on Cyprus Rally 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)