Cyprus Mail

Al-Attiyah, Galatariotis and Al-Rawahi fastest at Cyprus Rally

Cypriots Simos Galatariotis / Antonis Ioannou, in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, were fastest in SS3 in Kourdali

With the completion of the three morning special stages of the anniversary 50th Cyprus Rally, on Saturday 7 October 2023, only six seconds separate the leader Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar), and co-driver Mathieu Baumel (Andorra), from Simos Galatariotis / Antonis Ioannou.

Following close behind in 3rd place, 23.5 seconds behind Al-Attiyah, is Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) standings leader Abdullah Al-Rawahi (Oman), and co-driver Ata Al-Hmoud (Jordan) in a Škoda Fabia R5.

The Qatari, a seven-time winner of the Cyprus Rally, driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, won the first two special stages in Xyliatos and Kapouras, with Simos Galatariotis / Antonis Ioannou, also in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, being fastest in SS3 in Kourdali. However, the Cypriot driver was particularly fast in SS2, but he had to change tires during it, thus losing time, while a little later his windshield suffered a crack, reducing his visibility. Al-Attiyah also suffered a flat tire during the morning session.

The leader Nasser Al-Attiyah has covered the 48.92 kilometres of the three stages in Xyliatos, Kapouras and Kourdali, in a time of 49 minutes and 40 seconds.

It should be noted that Galatariotis does not participate in the MERC classification, which means that in terms of the title battle for the Middle East Rally Championship, Al-Attiyah and Al-Rawahi are currently in the positions of 1st and 2nd place respectively.

After the first three special stages, the three leaders have built a significant difference from the 4th place, in which are Christos Demosthenous / Kypros Christodoulou, with Škoda Fabia R5. The distance between Demosthenous and 4th place Al-Rawahi is 1 minute and 33 seconds. The top five is rounded off by Petros Panteli with co-driver Pambos Laos, in a Renault Clio, who are 2 minutes and 31 seconds behind Al-Attiyah.

Three crews have abandoned during the morning session of day 1. Due to mechanical problems, in SS2 Costas Zenonos / Phanos Christophi with Citroën DS3 R5 and before SS3 Thomas Theofanous / Angelos Xenophontos with Peugeot 106. And due to an off-road exit in SS3 Nicolas Kyriacou / Giorgos Zouppouris with a Honda Civic.

The third contender for the Middle East title, Meshari Al-Thefiri (Kuwait), with co-driver Nasser Al-Kuwari (Qatar), in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, faced problems from SS1, as a result of which they are currently classified low, in 19th place overall, 14 minutes and 10 seconds behind Al-Attiyah.

With the completion of the first half of the first day of the 50th Cyprus Rally, organized by the Cyprus Automobile Association, twenty crews continue.

The cars returned after noon for service in Aglantzia and will then repeat the morning stages, Xyliatos (14:12), Kapouras (14:40) and Kourdali (15:43), before returning for the longer and final, 45-minute service.

This year’s event is sponsored by Honda – Galatariotis, ANCO Catering Equipment, Cablenet, Stop Fire, Andreopoulos Signs, Farmakas Natural Spring Water, Jeep and TGI Friday’s. It is supported by the Nicosia and Aglantzia Municipalities.

Live scores at

The route of the 2023 50th Cyprus Rally:

Length (km) First car due

Saturday 7 October

SS4 Xyliatos 2 8,05 14:12

SS5 Kapouras 2 19,86 14:40

SS6 Kourdali 2 21,01 15:43

Sunday 8 October

SS7 Yeri 1 14,10 08:43

SS8 Lefkara 1 19,78 09:51

SS9 Agios Epifanios 1 14,88 10:54

SS10 Yeri 2 14,10 13:22

SS11 Lefkara 2 19,78 14:30

SS12 Agios Epifanios 2 14,88 15:33

Finish ceremony Nicosia – 18:30

Route Maps

Day 1:

Day 2:

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