Galatariotis secures a dramatic Cyprus Rally victory

Cyprus’ Simos Galatariotis on board a Skoda Fabia R5 won the Cyprus Rally after ten years in the closest battle ever recorded both in the Cyprus Rally and the European Rally Championship history.

He won by just 0.6 seconds in front of the Portuguese Bruno Magalhaes also driving a Skoda Fabia R5. Magalhaes’ win gives new hopes in his bid for the ERC title after ERC drivers championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk retired in the rally’s first leg. Hungary’s Herczig and Ferencz finished in third overall completing a Skoda Fabia R5 1-2-3, a Cyprus Rally press release said.

This year’s Cyprus Rally confirmed its reputation as probably the most nerve-braking rally in the ERC calendar, as the top spot changed hands six times in course of the event. Drama broke out in the last stage of the day, when Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah who climbed to the first place overall in penultimate stage, was forced to stop and change a punctured tyre in SS13 loosing precious time slipping in fourth place overall. I believed we could win the rally I am very pleased, said Galatariotis after finishing the event’s last stage. On his part, Al Attiyah said he had to stop and change the tyre otherwise we would destroy the car.

Turkey’s Avcioglu and Korkmaz on board a Skoda Fabia R5 finished fifth overall followed by Stajf and Ehlova also with a Skoda Fabia R5. David Botka and Ramon Ferencz on board a Fabia R5 finished seventh followed by Germany’s Von Thurn und Taxis driving a Skoda Fabia R5 finished eighth overall. Demosthenous and Panteli driving a Mitsubishi Lance Evo X finished ninth overall and second among Cypriot crews and garnering a third place for the Middle East Championship. Panteli and Christodoulou on board a Lancer Evo X finished tenth overall and third among Cypriot crews

Tsouloftas who entered the rally via Rally 2 after retiring yesterday finished eleventh overall scoring points for the local championship while he secured top honours in the two Golden Stages after registering the fastest combined time. He also won the prize of Euros 3.000 as well as an additional Euros 1.000 for the top Cypriot crew in the two stages.

Panteli and Christodoulou won the ERC2. The French pair Pallier and Combre on board a Peugeot 208 Vti won the ECR3 category

Source: Cyprus News Agency