Cyprus Mail
Sport

It’s show-time at the Cyprus Rally

THE Cyprus Rally will get underway on Friday night with the ceremonial start in front of the Nicosia Museum with all the cars leaving the ramp and heading straight to the Makarios Stadium for the Cytanet SuperSpecial Stage, the first 2.24km trial of the event.
Prior to the start, all 26 crews will take their place at the service and were looking forward to a tough weekend of rallying.
Alongside the prestigious victory of a hard rally in Cyprus on the cards, there are precious points to be won for the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) which will run its penultimate round on the island.
Amongst the big names on the entry list there is none bigger than that of Nasser Al-Attiyah, the great Qatari multi-rally champion and Olympic medalist who knows exactly what it takes to take victory in Cyprus since he has done so many times.
Al-Attiyah having won all the rounds of the MERC bar one, will look to extend his 93 point tally in the CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally 2013 with another victory just like he did last year. Precisely for this reason he will run the same Ford Fiesta RRC that brought him quickest to the finish line in 2012.
Right behind him in the MERC standings is Seikh Khalid Al-Qassimi who knows that winning a second MERC championship will require plenty of luck. The driver from the Emirates has 51 points in the Middle-East Championship and has yet to win, which he will certainly look to do here! His ‘weapon of choice’ will be a Citroën DS3 RRC, making him the only driver in the leading pack not driving a Fiesta.
The top two drivers will have their work cut out for them in this years rally since the competition from the past MERC rounds of the year followed them here, with a total of 11 foreign drivers taking part in the CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally 2013. Scrapping it out with the foreign crews will be Cyprus own Charalambos Timotheou and Aggelos Loizides who will run an R5 Ford Fiesta RRC keeping them in contention with the top crews while also relying on their vast experience of the local special stages having tackled them countless times in the past.
The CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally 2013 will also host the fourth round of the Cyprus Rallying Championship. Pack leaders Costas ‘Chips’ Georgiouand his co-driver Elena Pieri will look for another win. Right behind them will be Stavros Antoniou who will do everything to reduce their points advantage and his distance from the top of the rankings. Also in the fray will be other local drivers such as Costas Zenonos, Kyriacos Kyriacou, Michalis Posidias, Petros Panteli and many other Cypriot crews.
The CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally 2013 is organised by the Cyprus Automobile Association with the support of CNP Asfalistiki and the sponsorship of the Municipality of Nicosia, Cyta, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, the Cyprus Sports Organisation and the state of Qatar.

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