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Cyprus Rally - 16-18 Jun 17

Posted: June 16, 2017 6:40 AM - 806 Hits

Round 4 - 2017 European Rally Championship (ERC)

Live Results (Cyprus 2017) | Results by: Sportstraxx | Also at: rally-base results
Rally Radio / News / Results: European Rally Championship (ERC) - fiaerc.com
Event Website: Cyprus Rally
Twitter: @FIAERC

First stage each day - Times are Ireland/UK
Qualifying - Fri - 08:03
SS1 - Sat - 05:43
SS9 - Sun - 07:10

PREVIEW: ERC CYPRUS RALLY

Posted: June 12, 2017 8:51 AM

The dust is still settling on a dramatic SEAJETS Acropolis Rally, but the FIA European Rally Championship is showing no sign of slowing down with the Cyprus Rally up next from 16-18 June. Here’s all the essential information ahead of the gravel showcase.

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

*The fourth round of the all-action ERC season on faster and challenging gravel roads.
*Rally-closing Love Cyprus Golden Stage carries prize fund of 24,000 euros.
*Pioneering CNP ASFALISTIKI Super Special Stage runs twice through Nicosia’s UN Buffer Zone.
*Event origins date back to 1970 when Victor Zachariades won in a Fiat 125.
*Other winners include Stig Blomqvist, Sébastien Loeb, Colin McRae, Petter Solberg and Ari Vatanen.
*Since 1978 the Cyprus Rally has formed part of the ERC calendar in its various formats.
*Fifty-nine crews, including 20 with ERC priority status, have entered the Mediterranean contest.
*Cypriot and FIA Middle East championship crews are also in action on what is a combined event.

CHAMPIONSHIP NEWS

*Counting for ERC1, ERC2, ERC3 and ERC Ladies’ Trophy points, the 46th Cyprus Rally is also a scoring round of the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams, which has been streamlined for this season with one title only up for grabs to increase competition. *With three rounds run, Bruno Magalhães tops the ERC1 rankings, 21 points ahead of defending champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz, the winner of the last round in Greece. *Zelindo Melegari is one point behind Tibor Érdi Jr in the chase for ERC2 glory. But with the Hungarian not competing in Cyprus, Italian Melegari will be aiming to take full advantage.

*It’s a similar story for Bu?ra Banaz in ERC3. Following his class win in Greece, the Castrol Ford Team Turkey driver can move to the top of the table with a strong result in Cyprus, where he competed for the first time in 2016.

EVENT NEWS

*While Nicosia remains the event hub, there are several changes to this year’s route with new start and finish venues among the alterations.

*However, perhaps the biggest change will be on day one when the event visits the ground-breaking CNP ASFALISTIKI Super Special Stage, which crosses through the United Nations’ Buffer Zone into Northern Cyprus, not once but twice albeit over a shorter distance of 4.15 kilometres. Once referenced by the UN as “the most successful measure in the building of trust between the communities [of Nicosia] since 1974”, the mixed-surface test will be run at 11h27 and 16h59 local time on Saturday 17 June. *Following the Qualifying Stage from 10h03 local time on Friday 16 June, the ceremonial start takes place on Larnaca’s promenade at 19h00 with the stage action getting underway the next day.

*At 23.43 kilometres, Cytanet Avdelero is the rally’s longest and used twice on Sunday 18 June. Meanwhile, the Lefkara stage has been renamed in memory of Giorgos Kyprianou, a rallying enthusiast and son of Cypriot champion Kypros Kyprianou.

*In total, the event features 14 stages over 219.24 kilometres. The bulk of the stages run on gravel with some asphalt sections although the Cytanet Analiontas and Love Cyprus Golden Stage 1 are gravel only.

*The driver setting the best cumulative time on Love Cyprus Golden Stage 1 and Love Cyprus Golden Stage 2 will receive a cheque for 10,000 euros. The top two-wheel-drive contender will receive 7,000 euros, while the leading Cypriot runner will be handed the same amount.

DRIVER NEWS

*ERC title chasers Bruno Magalhães and Kajetan Kajetanowicz both have previous Cyprus Rally experience to count on albeit not from last year’s event, which they didn’t contest.

*Nikolay Gryazin is back in action in a replacement ŠKODA Fabia R5 after his original car was destroyed by fire while he was leading the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally last week.

*Albert von Thurn und Taxis is also competing again after retiring in Greece, the result of a final-stage off.

*Antonín Tlus?ák’s participation in Cyprus was made possible after a member of his team drove 1900 kilometres (a journey of 22 hours) with a replacement fuel tank following a failure in Greece.

*Nasser Al-Attiyah knows what it takes to triumph in Cyprus: the Qatari has won the rally four times and the now defunct Troodos Rally on eight occasions. After retiring from the lead in Greece, the former Dakar winner, who is registered for ERC and Middle East points, will be keen to add to his Cyprus victory tally.

*Murat Bostanci came within a handful of kilometres of of his maiden ERC podium in Greece only to slide off on the final stage. He’s determined to make amends in Cyprus where he took ERC3 glory in 2016.

*Castrol Ford Team Turkey’s ERC3 line-up will feature Bu?ra Banaz, Umitcan Ozdemir and Ismet Toktas for the second event running.

*Russia’s Artur Muradian is back on ERC3 duty having skipped the recent rounds in Gran Canaria and Greece. Meanwhile, his compatriot Sergey Remennik has switched to a spare Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X following his roll on the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally.

*Fresh from his fourth place finish in Greece, Cypriot championship leader Alexandros Tsouloftas, 25, is one of the leading contenders for home-based success in a Citroën DS3 R5.

*Established local driver Charlambous Timotheou will sample ŠKODA Fabia R5 power for the first time in what will be only his second outing in a top-of-the-range ERC1 car.

FAST FACTS

1: 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.

2: Alexey Lukyanuk earned 32,000 euros on the Cyprus Rally last year. As well the €7000 prize money for winning the ERC counter, the Russian picked up 25,000 euros for his Golden Stage triumph.

3: 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.

4: The Cyprus Rally is a happy hunting ground for Andreas Mikkelsen. The WRC factory driver won the inaugural Golden Stage Rally in 2010 and became Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion in 2011 after winning a five-way battle when the Cyprus Rally was based in Pafos for the first time.

5: Warm weather and beautiful beaches – plus hundreds of bars and clubs – have combined to make Ayia Napa one of Europe’s most popularly party-holiday destinations. The Cyprus Rally will finish in the town for the first time on 18 June.

DRIVER Q&A: ALEXANDROS TSOULOFTAS

The rally rookie from Limassol will tackle his home round of the ERC for the second time next week on the back of a standout top-five finish in Greece earlier this month in a Citroën DS3 R5 co-driven by experienced Frenchman Denis Giraudet. This is what the Cypriot championship leader has had to say.

Q: A great result on the SEAJETS Acropolis Rally, finishing fourth overall...
A: “I’m overwhelmed, it’s much more than what I expected. This is the first year that I am driving, it’s the first time with this car, the first time on the Acropolis, the first time with this co-driver, I only came here to learn the car because we haven’t done a lot of testing and absolutely the placing was unexpected so I am really, really happy.”

Q: And with the Cyprus Rally, your home event, up next the timing couldn’t be better, right?
A: “We came here to test out the car for the Cyprus Rally and we are more prepared than ever now. We’re also more confident and I’m really looking forward to Cyprus now.”

Q: Given you’re only really starting out in the sport this season you probably don’t have much Cyprus Rally experience?
A: “I done it last year in a standard Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, it was my first proper rally.”

Q: Although your rallying experience is limited do you have a background in motorsport?
A: “I wasn’t into motorsports whatsoever. I only started rallying a year ago and I had no idea what this was before then. But I’m really happy with my progress, it looks like a promising future.”

Q: Finally, what about the challenge of the Cypriot stages?
A: “They’re tricky but I’m ready, especially with a result like I had in Greece.”

THE RALLY IN 100 WORDS

With its origins dating back to 1970, the Cyprus Rally returned to the ERC roster in 2014 for the first time since 1999 when Nicosia hosted the thrilling action. To mark the occasion, the Cypriot capital was transformed into an exciting street stage, which included a section through the United Nations-controlled Buffer Zone between the historic city’s Greek Cypriot and Turkish inhabited areas. Also counting for FIA Middle East and Cypriot championship points, this year’s rally has new start and finish locations in Larnaca and Ayia Napa respectively, while the new mid-June date will mean punishing ambient and ground temperatures.

WHAT HAPPENED IN 2016?

Alexey Lukyanuk produced a perfect conclusion to his ERC campaign, taking victory on the CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally and also winning the Love Cyprus Golden Stage to earn a total of 32,000 euros in prize money. Lukyanuk mastered the mixed-surface challenge of the Cyprus Rally in his Ford Fiesta R5 fitted with Pirelli tyres. The Russian driver led from the start, won 11 of the 13 stages and finished up 2m12.2s clear. His second win of the season confirmed Lukyanuk as the championship runner-up, after he had come into the final round with only a two-point advantage over Ralfs Sirmacis. For his win, Lukyanuk received 7,000 euros as part of the prize money awarded by Eurosport Events on every round of the ERC, and he earned a cool 25,000-euro bonus with the fastest time on the event-closing Love Cyprus Golden Stage, which had a total prize fund of 60,000 euros pledged by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation. The cancellation of the penultimate stage of the rally for safety reasons meant this became a single-stage dash-for-cash with a stunning finish line on the beach. Finishing a superb second place was Marijan Griebel, who was making his four-wheel-drive debut in a ŠKODA Fabia R5, a prize drive for winning this year’s ERC Junior Championship. With only 50 kilometres in the Pirelli-shod car beforehand, the German prospect impressed from the beginning with his speed, enjoying a close battle with fellow ERC Junior graduate Nikolay Gryazin over second before the Latvian teenager crashed out on stage six. From there, Griebel made sure of second position, seeing off the threat of three-time 2016 round-winner Ralfs Sirmacis. The 22-year-old Latvian, also an ERC Junior graduate, was playing catch-up after an overly-cautious start in two challenging night stages that opened the rally on Friday, but won two stages on the following morning as he climbed up to third position in his MICHELIN-equipped ŠKODA. Dávid Botka became the driver with the most ERC starts in 2016 with his ninth appearance in Cyprus, and the 2015 ERC2 champion concluded his first season at the top level with a second fourth place finish in his privately-run Citroën DS3 R5. Local driver Christos Demosthenous controlled ERC2 from start to finish as Murat Bostanci claimed his second ERC3 victory of the year as Castrol Ford Team Turkey locked out the podium.

BIG PRIZE FUND FOR GOLDEN STAGE RETURN AND TWO VISITS TO NICOSIA STREET STAGE TOP ERC CYPRUS RALLY HIGHLIGHTS

Posted: June 12, 2017 8:49 AM

The Cyprus Rally’s hugely popular Golden Stage initiative is back for 2017 with 24,000 euros up for grabs on the mixed-surface FIA European Rally Championship counter later this month.

Organisers of the Nicosia-based event, which takes place from 16-18 June, will present the driver setting the best cumulative time on Love Cyprus Golden Stage 1 and Love Cyprus Golden Stage 2 with a cheque for 10,000 euros. The top two-wheel-drive contender will receive 7,000 euros, while the leading Cypriot runner will be handed the same amount.

Love Cyprus Golden Stage 1 is an all-gravel affair measuring 5.31 kilometres and running along a section of Larnaca Bay in the south east of the island. Love Cyprus Golden Stage 2 is 74 per cent on gravel and 26 per cent on Tarmac and totals 6.17 kilometres. It’s located on the far southeast tip of Cyprus close to holiday resort of Ayia Napa.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, welcomed the return of the Love Cyprus Golden Stage.
“While the outcome of the Cyprus Rally’s final two stages will no doubt be decisive in terms of the overall result, with a substantial prize fund to chase, the drivers will be trying to prove their talent right to the finish.”

Pioneering Nicosia stage gets two visits

The ground-breaking CNP ASFALISTIKI Super Special Stage, which crosses through the United Nations’ Buffer Zone into Northern Cyprus, will be run not once but twice in 2017, albeit over a shorter distance of 4.15 kilometres. Once referenced by the UN as “the most successful measure in the building of trust between the communities [of Nicosia] since 1974”, the mixed-surface test will be run at 11h27 and 16h59 local time on Saturday 17 June.

Route revamp for Cyprus Rally

As well as a double visit to the CNP ASFALISTIKI Super Special Stage in Nicosia, the Cyprus Rally route has been heavily revamped for 2017. Following the all-gravel Qualifying Stage from 10h03 local time on Friday 16 June, the ceremonial start takes place on Larnaca’s beachfront at 19h00 with the stage action getting underway the following morning. The bulk of the stages are a mixture of asphalt and gravel although the Cytanet Analiontas and Love Cyprus Golden Stage 1 are run on gravel only. At 23.43 kilometres, Cytanet Avdelero is the rally’s longest and used twice on Sunday 18 June. Meanwhile, the Lefkara stage has been renamed in memory of Giorgos Kyprianou, a rallying enthusiast and son of Cypriot champion Kypros Kyprianou. In total, the event features 14 stages over a competitive distance of 219.24 kilometres.

Seeded Entry List

Posted: June 12, 2017 8:48 AM

Rally Guide / Event Website / Details

Posted: May 6, 2017 7:01 AM

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