Cyprus Rally 2017 guarantees a thrilling event for rally fans

Attracting the elite of European rallying and featuring a route packed with novelties, the Cyprus Rally, round four of the FIA European Rally Championship (FIA ERC) and round three of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (FIA MERC), guarantees a thrilling event for rally fans.

Rally organisers gave on Thursday a press conference at CNP ASFALISTIKI headquarters in Nicosia, providing details of the event to be held on 16-18 June, 2017 in Cyprus. The press conference was held in the presence of ERC’s top official Jean-Baptiste Ley.

In this year’s edition, the starting and finish ceremonies will be held in two distinct areas (Foinikoudes beach front in Larnaca and the harbor of Ayia Napa) in bid to showcase two different resorts of the island.

The spectacular Super Special Stage will take place twice on Saturday with free entry for rally fans, whereas the Love Cyprus Golden Stage will be held in the Famagusta area granting prize money for the winners. The Super Special Stage will be held in the roads of the southern government control area of Nicosia and the northern Turkish occupied areas of the town.

Speaking at the Conference, Antonis Michaelides, the Cyprus Automobile Association (CAA) President, stressed the importance of the event as well as its high media coverage both in Europe and the Middle East. Michaelides referred to the FIA’s appreciation for CAA which has been selected as a model concerning the implementation of innovative policies and programs.

Rallying safety is elevated as an issue of primary interest in this year’s Cyprus Rally, in the context of the broader FIA international policy to raise awareness on road safety and the reduction of road accidents, Michaelides said and added that Cyprus and the Cyprus Rally have been selected as the first event marking the commencement of the FIA’s commendable effort. As he said, as part of the efforts to bolster rallying safety, Michele Mouton, a living world rally legend of the eighties, an FIA special representative and rallying legend has visited Cyprus to assess the whole initiative.

On her part, Nayia Kontopoulou, the Course Clerk, gave a detailed outline of this year’s rally course and pointed out the long entry list. She highlighted that this year’s Cyprus Rally takes place earlier and as a result it is not the FIA ERC last round but slots in the middle of the calendar. The Cyprus Rally is round four of the FIA ERC and round three of the FIA MERC.

This has a direct impact on the entry list, as this year line up is particularly rich both in entries and quality, she went on to say. The entry list features 75 crews coming from 13 different countries, of which 59 for the European Championship, 11 for the local championship and an additional five crews will compete only in the CNP ASFALISTIKI Super Special Stage.

The Rally kicks off on Friday, June 16, with free practice and the qualifying stage that would determine the starting positions. In 19:00 the same day the ceremonial start will take place in the Larnaca beach front, the well-known Finikoudes, with cars returning to the Nicosia service park. As opposed to the last year’s edition, there will be no rallying action on Friday.

Racing will start on Friday, June 17 with eight special stages, in two loops of four with a total distance of 117.0 kilometres, among which the CNP ASFALISTIKI Special Stage that takes place for the fourth consecutive year in the stress of Nicosia city-center, uniting Europe’s last divided capital which has been separated since the 1974 Turkish invasion. As part of this year’s novelties, the Special Stage will be held twice the same day. On 11:27 and on 16:59.

Special Stages 2 and 6 in the picturesque Lefkara village will be named Giorgos Kyprianou in the memory of the young rally fan, son of the former Cypriot Rally Champion and past Cyprus Rally winner Kypros Kyprianou and his wife Nitsa who have served rallysport for decades. A prize will be given to the fastest Cypriot crew.

After spending the night in Nicosia, the crews will enter the event’s remaining six special stages. The Love Cyprus Golden Stage will be held in Famagusta as the rally’s last two stages offering prize money to the crews taking top honors.

The sum of the time in the two Golden Stages will determine the winners with first crew garnering Euros 10,000, whereas the first Cypriot crew and the first two-wheel drive crew will be awarded Euros 7,000 each. Later the crews will head to the finish ceremony, which will take place next to the harbor of the well-known resort Ayla Napa.

Source: Cyprus News Agency