ERC 2020: Cyprus Rally refresher
Following two event on asphalt, it’s back to gravel for the Cyprus Rally in October. Here’s some key information on the penultimate round of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship.
When: 9-11 October
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 6 (2014-2019)
The rally in 100 words: The Cyprus Rally has put car and crew to a significant test since 1970. And while the current format is a little less taxing than it once was, underestimating the challenging nature of this rallying heavyweight is a big mistake. Although fundamentally a gravel rally, some Tarmac sections feature, while punishing ambient and ground temperatures are a factor. A return to Nicosia for 2019 resulted in mountain stages around the capital being revived. The street stage through the United Nations-controlled Buffer Zone between Nicosia’s Greek Cypriot and Turkish inhabited areas continues remains on the combined ERC and Middle East rally.
FIA European Rally Championship 2020, round 7 of 8
Also counting for…
FIA ERC2, FIA ERC3, FIA European Rally Championship for Teams
2019: Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5)
2018: Simos Galatariotis/Antonios Ioannou (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2017: Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (Ford Fiesta R5)
2016: Alexey Lukyanuk/Alexey Arnautov (Ford Fiesta R5)
2015: Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel (Ford Fiesta R5)
2014: Yazeed Al-Rajhi/Michael Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC)
1: The Cyprus Rally’s origins date back to 1970 when Victor Zachariades won in a Fiat 125. Although he didn’t take part, 1967 ERC champion Vic Elford formed part of the route-planning team.
2: While Nasser Al-Attiyah is the rally’s most successful driver with six victories, other winners include Stig Blomqvist, Marcus Grönholm, Sébastien Loeb, Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz, Petter Solberg, Ari Vatanen, Björn Waldegård and current European championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk, who took top honours in 2016.
3: There have been 10 ‘home’ winners of the Cyprus Rally since the first edition in 1970. Prior to Simos Galatariotis and Antonios Ioannou winning in 2018 by 0.6s in a dramatic final-stage decider, Nicos Thomas and Spiros Georgiou were the last Cypriot pair to triumph back in 2008.
4: The Cyprus Rally has formed part of the ERC calendar in its various formats since 1978. From 2014 it’s been ever-present on the European roster when the event was based in Nicosia after a spell in Pafos.
5: Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean behind Sicily and Sardinia. There are 380 rural villages in the republic, while Mount Olympus in the Troodos Range peaks at 1951 metres.