Galatariotis leads tight ERC Cyprus field

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

Meanwhile, 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, a Cyprus Rally press release said.

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.

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

Magalhaes 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 in Larnaca.

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 Avcioglu 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.

Vojtech Stajf moved his ACCR Czech Team Fabia into sixth place, aided by a time penalty for David Botka in seventh. Sysinfo Rallye Team pilot Botka missed a junction on his way to stage eight in Nicosia, which he won, leading to a late arrival and a 20-second penalty that now puts him 8.5s behind Stajf.

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.

Source: Cyprus News Agency