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Updated: 44 min 16 sec ago

Al-Attiyah gracious in ERC defeat 

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 18:00

Nasser Al-Attiyah was gracious in defeat after a final-stage puncture cost him a shot at claiming a record-extending sixth Cyprus Rally victory.

Al-Attiyah, from Qatar, started the closing test of the FIA European Rally Championship counter 2.3s in front of home hero Simos Galatariotis following a stunning recovery drive from a double puncture on Saturday, but slipped to fourth when he was forced to change the damaged tyre on his Autotek Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5.

“We make a good time previous stage but for the last seven kilometres we have a slow puncture,” Al-Attiyah explained. “We decide to continue but we need to stop because everything would break. “Okay, this is the game and we did our best. It was a good battle this weekend.”

The post Al-Attiyah gracious in ERC defeat  appeared first on FIA ERC.

Cypriot Tsouloftas is the Golden boy of the ERC

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 12:00

Alexandros Tsouloftas hit back from the disappointment of his retirement on day one of the Cyprus Rally to go fastest across Sunday’s final leg and win the prestigious Golden Stage in the process.

The Cypriot youngster retired from the podium fight on the fourth event of the FIA European Rally Championship season on Saturday following a mechanical failure but restarted on Sunday and demonstrated an impressive turn of speed with the fastest time of all on the final stage.

Along with the PSALTIS AUTOPARTS-backed SS12, the ENEOS-supported SS13 formed the Golden Stage with Tsouloftas winning 2000 euros for posting the quickest combined time. He also landed another 2000 euros as the fastest Cypriot contender.

“We had some bad luck this weekend but we really enjoyed today with all the fans,” said Tsouloftas, who also scored seven ERC bonus points for winning leg two.

The post Cypriot Tsouloftas is the Golden boy of the ERC appeared first on FIA ERC.

Podium brace puts Herczig high in ERC

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 06:00

Norbert Herczig made it two FIA European Rally Championship podiums in as many events with another impressive rookie performance, this time on the Cyprus Rally.

The four-time Hungarian champion inherited third when Nasser Al-Attiyah suffered a final-stage puncture, despite the MOL Racing Team driver having to nurse a deflation of his own through the closing four kilometres.

“We got a puncture on the last stage,” said Herczig. “But we were still thinking we could take the fourth position. But then after the stage we realised Nasser got a puncture and we reached a better position. We are here and we are really happy.”

Herczig has no previous experience of any events on this year’s ERC calendar but belied that lack of experience by moving into third place in the championship standings.

The post Podium brace puts Herczig high in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC.

Unstoppable ERC3 winner Pellier sweeps up in Cyprus dust

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 19:39

FIA European Rally Championship Junior Under 28 regular Laurent Pellier scored a near-perfect victory in the ERC3 support category on the Cyprus Rally, winning by more than 13 minutes.

Pellier, who usually drives for the PEUGEOT Rally Academy in an R5-specification 208 T16, dropped down to a 208 R2 for the Cyprus Rally with the same Saintéloc Junior Team which runs his ERC Junior U28 programme.

He had won every stage on Saturday and came close to making it a perfect 11 from 11, stopped only by Emma Falcón who was victorious in SS8 on Sunday.

Pellier’s only drama on the closing day was a front-left puncture on the first stage, but was otherwise untroubled, even matching the pace of more powerful four-wheel-drive production class ERC2 cars on occasion.

Artur Muradian had been Pellier’s closest challenger, though he fell by the wayside at midday service. He had suffered a broken wishbone on SS9, and though cancellation of SS10 allowed him to return directly to service without penalty, his Renault Clio could not be fixed for the afternoon loop.

Constantinos Televantos ensured every Cyprus Rally class would have a local driver on the podium, safely passing through Sunday’s stages to secure second place aboard his Q8 Oils Rally Team Ford Fiesta R2.

He was joined on the rostrum by ERC newcomer Norbert Bereczki, finishing third despite driving a lone R1 specification car less powerful than those of his R3 and R2-equipped rivals.

Falcón added a fourth place finish to her earlier stage win, overcoming similar mechanical gremlins to those which had affected her pace at EKO Rally Acropolis. This also won her the ERC Ladies' Trophy battle, finishing ahead of Pellier’s Saintéloc Junior team-mate Catie Munnings in fifth place.

Munnings had originally been in a podium position fight with Televantos, at one point even over 40 seconds ahead, but a 15 minute penalty due to a start line mix-up on Saturday’s third stage. Christos Mannouris completed the ERC3 top six, driving a similar Citroën DS3 R3T to Falcón.

The post Unstoppable ERC3 winner Pellier sweeps up in Cyprus dust appeared first on FIA ERC.

Panteli seals maiden ERC2 win on home event

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 19:06

Petros Panteli scored a dream maiden FIA European Rally Championship ERC2 category win on the Cyprus Rally, his home event, cruising home safely after issues struck nearest challenger Panikos Polykarpou.

There had been a lead change overnight in the production-spec category, as Polykarpou was handed down a 20 second penalty for checking out late from Saturday evening’s service in Larnaca.

This gave Panteli a 0.2s advantage as Sunday’s five stages began, albeit with Polykarpou expected to mount a strong comeback after winning four stages to Panteli’s two on Saturday.

Polykarpou’s hopes were dashed almost instantly, as a right rear puncture in SS7 forced him to pull over mid-stage and change a wheel, dropping five minutes and handing Panteli a lead he would hold until the very end.

Michalis Posedias ensured a Cypriot 1-2 in ERC2, losing 18.5s to Panteli in SS7 before gaining that time back – and a little more – across Sunday afternoon’s two stage loop to finish 33.8s adrift of Panteli.

Juan Carlos Alonso scored a welcomed third place after two consecutive retirements on Rally Islas Canarias and EKO Acropolis Rally. Starting first on the road had compromised his speed on Saturday, so was happy to keep his driving neat and tidy and ensure a solid haul of points to go with his podium trophy.

Much like Alonso, Zelindo Melegari was pleased to bring his Movisport Lancer back safe and sound for good points in fourth place, after a pair of challenging events to begin his season on Airlines Azores Rallye and Rally Islas Canarias. He did enough to fend off the recovering Polyparkou in fifth place, finishing 25.1s ahead.

The post Panteli seals maiden ERC2 win on home event appeared first on FIA ERC.

Day report: Galatariotis turns local legend with stunning ERC Cyprus finish

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 18:37

Simos Galatariotis cemented his status as a local legend by scoring a dramatic last-gasp FIA European Rally Championship victory over Bruno Magalhães by 0.6s on his home event, the Cyprus Rally.

Home favourite Galatariotis captured a first win for a Cypriot driver in 10 years despite carrying a front-right puncture to the finish line of the closing ENEOS Golden Stage.

Nasser Al-Attiyah had stormed into first place on the penultimate stage, taking 20.6s out of Galatariotis to gain a 2.3s lead with one stage remaining.

However, Al-Attiyah was forced to stop and change a puncture close to the finish of the Cyprus Rally’s final test, his attempts to continue with a deflating tyre for several kilometres ultimately in vain.

SEAJETS-backed Magalhães overtook Al-Attiyah in-stage moments before the finish line to snatch second place and a points lead in the ERC championship standings. He was 0.6s behind Galatariotis, the third closest finish in recent ERC history.

The Portuguese driver's weekend-long approach of being sensible and avoiding rocks at all costs paid dividends, ensuring another top result after his win on the EKO Acropolis Rally two weeks ago.

Norbert Herczig was promoted to a surprise second consecutive podium finish by Al-Attiyah’s delay, finishing 1m21.4s behind Galatariotis aboard his MOL Racing Team ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Al-Attiyah settled for fourth place after his late tyre change, while fifth went to Toksport WRT’s Orhan Avcioğlu, his first ERC top five finish.

Vojtéch Štajf turned the tables on Dávid Botka, whom he narrowly lost the ERC2 category title to back in 2015. ACCR Czech Team driver Štajf edged out his Sysinfo Rallye Team rival for sixth place by 13.4s, while behind both Albert von Thurn und Taxis scored his first ERC points finish of 2018 in eighth.

Petros Panteli sealed ninth place overall and the ERC2 win for Q8 Oils Rally Team, ahead of a rapidly recovering Alexandros Tsouloftas in P10. It was an astounding day’s work from Tsouloftas, going fastest on leg two to score seven bonus points and also win the Golden Stage cash prize.

Leg Two recap: Lead battle goes down to the wire
Wevers Sport youngster Juuso Nordgren had gone into Leg Two with a 4.6s lead over Galatariotis, and despite a pledge to keep his driving clean and sensible, managed to extend his lead to 7.3 seconds after two stages.

From there Cyprus lost its second major victory contender after Alexey Lukyanuk’s retirement on Saturday afternoon. Nordgren rolled his ŠKODA Fabia R5 only one corner into the Lageia stage, losing a minute and dropping out of the podium places.

Nordgren’s mistake gave Galatariotis his first taste of first place, but pressure was strong from behind. Bruno Magalhães was only 3.3s adrift, while Nasser Al-Attiyah was recovering rapidly from a double puncture late on Saturday.

Though Galatariotis had increased his margin over a cautious Magalhães to 12.7s by midday service, Al-Attiyah closed in further, 18.3.s in arrears. By now Nordgren had fallen out of contention altogether, retiring from a separate incident to his roll one stage later.

The lead battle quickly became a two-horse race, Magalhães backing off to secure ERC championship points and allowing his two rivals to take control out front.

Al-Attiyah turned in a storming drive through PSALTIS AUTOPARTS Golden Stage 1, 17.0s quicker than Magalhães and 20.6s ahead of Galatariotis to vault both and steal first place away with one stage remaining.

Magalhães’ safety-first approach would be vindicated however, as one of the most exciting finishes in ERC history played out amongst those in full attack mode. As onlookers awaited Al-Attiyah’s arrival at the finish of the ENEOS Golden Stage 2, it was Magalhães who arrived first after he overtook the stricken Al-Attiyah late on in the final stage. The Qatari's hopes of a record-extending sixth win were over.

This would surely hand victory to Galatariotis, yet the Cyprus Rally was not finished creating more drama. A front-right puncture meant Galatariotis was half a minute off the pace, though he clung on to a first ERC victory by the smallest of margins. An 11.4s advantage had been slashed to 0.6s as Galatariotis crossed the final flying finish.

Al-Attiyah dropped to fourth place after trying his best to press ahead with a slow puncture to his front right tyre. Despite his best efforts, it risked causing extensive damage to his Ford Fiesta R5, so a spell on the side of the road to change it for a spare was required.

Behind Galatariotis and Magalhães was MOL Racing Team’s Nobert Herczig, picking up his second consecutive ERC podium finish. After SS2 on Saturday he had been down in ninth overall, but methodically climbed his way up the order. He lost only 10.2s to eventual winner Galatariotis across Sunday’s six stages, showing how quickly he had improved on his first ever Cyprus Rally appearance.

Behind Al-Attiyah, a large midfield scrap carried over from Saturday and continued well into Sunday, eventually headed by Orhan Avcioğlu. It was the Toksport WRT driver’s best ERC result to date, executing a measured drive on Sunday after a fence-demolishing trip through a field the day before.

Vojtéch Štajf turned the tables on his old ERC2 rival Dávid Botka in their battle over what would become sixth position. Štajf started with a 14.5s deficit to Botka, whom he had been defeated by for the ERC2 title in 2015, but turned this into a 13.4s advantage by rally end.

A pivotal moment in their battle came away from the special stages in a road section leading up to SS8. Botka missed a turning and arrived two minutes late, incurring a 20-second penalty to hand Štajf a position he would not relinquish.

Behind Botka in seventh was Albert von Thurn und Taxis, who was elated to have survived Cyprus’ treacherous stages and record his first ERC points finish of 2018 with eighth place. Despite starting first on the road and road-sweeping for all those behind him, he kept a steady pace all day, starting 4.6s behind Štajf and finishing 4.7s behind Botka.

Petros Panteli not only scored his first ERC2 category win, but dovetailed his production success with ninth overall in the full ERC classification. Though his heavier Q8 Oils Rally Team Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X could not keep pace with his much more nimble R5 rivals, he held off his fellow compatriot Alexandros Tsouloftas by only 5.6s.

Tsouloftas had executed a stunning comeback drive on Sunday, going fastest across Sunday’s five stages to win Leg Two and take a maximum seven bonus points. He had retired late on Saturday from a potential podium position with a broken wishbone, but bounced back emphatically come Sunday.

Tsouloftas topped up his P10 finish and Leg Two victory with a double win in the Cyprus Rally’s Golden Stage, taking home a cash prize as both the quickest overall driver and also the fastest Cypriot.

Michalis Posedias brought his production-spec Lancer to the finish P11, while ERC3 category winner Laurent Pellier completed the Cyprus Rally P12, a fantastic result given he was piloting a less powerful front-wheel-drive R2-specification PEUGEOT 208.

The post Day report: Galatariotis turns local legend with stunning ERC Cyprus finish appeared first on FIA ERC.

Breaking news: Galatariotis wins ERC in Cyprus by 0.6 seconds!

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 17:33

Simos Galatariotis scored a dramatic last-gasp FIA European Rally Championship victory on the Cyprus Rally, as both he and late leader Nasser Al-Attiyah picked up final stage punctures.

Home favourite Galatariotis captured a first win for a Cypriot driver on Cyprus Rally in 10 years despite carrying a front right puncture to the finish line of the ENEOS Golden Stage.

Al-Attiyah had stormed into first place in the penultimate stage of Leg Two, taking 20.6s out of Galatariotis to gain a 2.3s lead with one stage remaining.

However, Al-Attiyah was forced to stop and change a puncture close to the finish of the Cyprus Rally’s final test, his attempts to continue with a deflating tyre for several kilometres ultimately in vain.

SEAJETS-backed Bruno Magalhães overtook Al-Attiyah in-stage moments before the finish line to snatch second place and a points lead in the ERC championship standings.

His weekend-long approach of being sensible and avoid rocks at all costs paid dividends, ensuring another top result after his win on EKO Acropolis Rally two weeks ago.

Norbert Herczig was promoted to a surprise second consecutive podium finish by Al-Attiyah’s stoppage, finishing 1m21.4s behind Galatariotis aboard his MOL Racing Team ŠKODA Fabia R5.

Al-Attiyah settled for fourth place after his late tyre change, while fifth went to Toksport WRT’s Orhan Avcioğlu, his first ERC top five finish.

Vojtéch Štajf turned the tables on Dávid Botka, whom he narrowly lost the ERC2 category title to back in 2015. ACCR Czech Team driver Štajf edged out his Sysinfo Rallye Team rival for sixth place by 13.4s, while behind both Albert von Thurn und Taxis scored his first ERC points finish of 2018 in eighth.

Petros Panteli sealed a first ERC2 production class win for Q8 Oils Rally Team along with ninth place overall, ahead of a rapidly recovering Alexandros Tsouloftas in P10. It was an astounding day’s work from Tsouloftas, going fastest across Leg Two’s five stages to score seven bonus points and also win the Golden Stage cash prize.

ERC Junior Under 28 regular Laurent Pellier also secured victory in his ERC3 category cameo.

The post Breaking news: Galatariotis wins ERC in Cyprus by 0.6 seconds! appeared first on FIA ERC.

Battle for glory resumes in Cyprus live on ERC Radio

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 15:12

The thrilling battle for victory on the Cyprus Rally, round four of the FIA European Rally Championship, will resume with stage 12 from 16h35 local time (15h35 CET).

ERC Radio will provide all the action and reaction live as Simos Galatariotis bids to become the first Cypriot winner of the event since Nicos Thomas in 2008.

Galatariotis is two stages from a famous home triumph but with Bruno Magalhães a slender 12.7s behind and Nasser Al-Attiyah chasing hard in third place – 5.6s behind Magalhães –  a dramatic showdown is in store.

As well as deciding the winner of the 2018 Cyprus Rally, the closing special stages will count for the Golden Stage, which rewards cash prizes to the quickest overall, best 2WD and fastest Cypriot crew.

SS12, PSALTIS AUTOPARTS Golden Stage, begins at 16h35 with SS13, ENEOS Golden Stage 2, following at 17h33.

The post Battle for glory resumes in Cyprus live on ERC Radio appeared first on FIA ERC.

Pellier all set for ERC3 triumph in Cyprus

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 14:54

Laurent Pellier is only two stages away from a triumphant cameo in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 category, leading comfortably from nearest rival Artur Muradian.

ERC Junior Experience graduate Pellier demonstrated why he earned a place with PEUGEOT Rally Academy in ERC Junior Under 28 this year, adding another two stage wins to his six earned on Saturday.

His only drama on Sunday morning was a front left puncture picked up in SS7, still picking up fastest time regardless aboard his Saintéloc Junior Team-prepared PEUGEOT 208 R2.

Muradian remains second despite a less than ideal end to his morning. His Renault Clio R3 suffered a broken rear wishbone in SS9, losing 1m08.9s relative to Pellier.

Constantinos Televantos appears set for a podium finish on his ERC3 debut, potentially delivering a double success for Q8 Oils Rally Team with his team-mate Petros Panteli close to victory in ERC2. Norbert Bereczki is fourth in his R1-specification Suzuki Swift, a good achievement given its lack of power relative to his R3 and R2-equipped rivals.

Emma Falcón put a challenging opening day of the Cyprus Rally behind her, winning stage eight and set for a top five finish in class. Crucially she now also leads the ERC Ladies Trophy battle, several minutes ahead of rival Catie Munnings.

Saintéloc Junior Team’s second driver had been fighting Televantos for an ERC3 podium, but a mix-up on Saturday’s restarted stage three start line meant she departed late, picking up a time penalty as a result. She is a safe sixth place, well ahead of Christos Mannouris aboard his Citroën DS3 R3T.

The post Pellier all set for ERC3 triumph in Cyprus appeared first on FIA ERC.

Panteli two Cyprus stages away from first ERC2 win

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 14:32

Petros Panteli has one hand firmly on a first FIA European Rally Championship ERC2 category winner’s trophy, leading the Cyprus Rally’s production class with only two stages remaining.

Q8 Oils Rally Team pilot Panteli began Sunday with a mere 0.2 seconds in hand over fellow Cypriot Panikos Polykarpou, an uncomfortable lead for Panteli given his rival’s status as a pre-rally favourite for ERC2 honours.

However, Polykarpou’s Psaltis Auto Parts-prepared Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X picked up a puncture in Sunday’s first stage, costing him five minutes as he pulled over to change his right-rear wheel mid-stage.

Panteli’s closest challenger is compatriot Michalis Posedias, who scored a stage win to finish his Sunday morning loop. 48.0s separates the pair with two stages remaining.

Azores Airlines Rallye ERC2 winner Juan Carlos Alonso is set for his second finish of 2018, 1m27.3s behind Panteli in third with his RMC Motorsport Lancer Evo X.

Zelindo Melegari, who changed to a Lancer Evo X mid-season, is fourth, holding a 1m07.9s advantage over Polyparkou aboard his Movisport-prepared car.

The post Panteli two Cyprus stages away from first ERC2 win appeared first on FIA ERC.

Statement from Cyprus Rally organisers

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 14:27

The organisers of the Cyprus Rally, round four of the FIA European Rally Championship, have issued a statement as follows.

Stage 10 of the Cyprus Rally has been interrupted following an incident involving a competing car and a car belonging to a member of the public. There were no casualties and an investigation is under way to establish the circumstances.

Stage 11 has been cancelled for timing reasons.

The start time of SS12 will be advised in due course. No further comment will be made at this time.

The post Statement from Cyprus Rally organisers appeared first on FIA ERC.

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.

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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.

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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.

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ORLEN 74 Rally Poland / Rajd Polski

ORLEN 74 Rally Poland

2018 Calendar

22-24 March

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugal)

3-5 May

Rally Islas Canarias (Spain)

1-3 June

Acropolis Rally (Greece)

15-17 June

Cyprus Rally (Cyprus)

0-22 July

Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy)

24-26 August

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czech Republic)

21-23 September

Rally Poland

12-14 October

Rally Liepaja (Lativa)