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ERC Newsletter #39/15

25 September 2015

Spectacular Cyprus Rally ceremonial start in Larnaca

The ceremonial start for the CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally, round eight of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship, took place tonight under perfect skies on the Phoinikoudes Promenade in Larnaca. Drivers such as Bruno Magalhães (pictured) where greeted by a large and enthusiastic crowd, as the build up to the start of the famous event intensifies. The opening stage of this year’s Cyprus Rally starts tomorrow at 07h35, while the finish is on Sunday at 18h30 – after 16 stages and 204.42kms of hot, dusty and very tough competition.

Big shake up during ERC road selection in Cyprus

The road selection process for this weekend’s CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally 2015 caused a big surprise, when the leading FIA European Rally Championship crews adopted completely different tactics. ERC leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz had been fastest over this morning’s Qualifying Stage and was first to choose – selecting to start tomorrow’s opening leg fifth on the road. Next up was second-fastest Alexey Lukyanuk, who selected 15th on the road. The Russian was happy with that, until all the other leading ERC drivers followed Kajetanowicz – Robert Consani picking sixth on the road, Bruno Magalhães seventh, Dávid Botka eighth, Dominykas Butvilas ninth, Raul Jeets 10th, Jaromír Tarabus 11th, and Antonín Tlusťák 12th. Indeed, the only position left for Stavros Antoniou, who had been 15th fastest in Qualifying and therefore the last to select, was 14th on the road. It might turn out to be a stroke of genius, or Lukyanuk will be slowed by dust, rocks and debris and regret his decision – only time will tell. Panikos Polykarpou, the 24-year old Cypriot FIA Young Drivers Excellence Academy member, will start first on the road.

Great party atmosphere kicks off ERC Cyprus in Nicosia

This year’s CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally got underway in true party-style, with a ‘Meet the Drivers’ event and rock concert for the fans. A large crowd came to the historic Faneromenis Square, in Nicosia’s old town, on Wednesday night to say hello to the FIA European Rally Championship drivers, while the party continued with Minus One playing live on stage. “We were very pleased that so many young people came to meet the drivers, because this is our target audience,” said Cyprus Rally Clerk of the Course, Nayia Kontopoulou. “It was really a great way to start this year’s event.”

Tune into ERC Radio live from the Cyprus Rally

ERC Radio will be broadcasting live from the end of every stage of this weekend’s CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally. Reporters Chris Rawes and Julian Porter will be on air on Saturday from 07h15 local time, and from 09h00 on Sunday. If you’d like to get in touch with ERC Radio – with news, gossip and music requests – the best way is by e-mailing

FIA Action for Road Safety call

FIA European Rally Championship registered crews taking part in this weekend’s CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally endorsed the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign by taking part in a photoshoot in Nicosia. The FIA's Action for Road Safety is a global campaign, focusing the federation's resources on helping its member organisations around the globe to educate and advocate for safer roads, vehicles and behaviours. It aims to lower the alarming figures associated with global road accidents and to spread the safer motoring message. Central to the campaign are the 10 Golden Rules for Safer Motoring. A set of simple tips intended to help motorists improve their driving behaviour. These rules hope to assist motorists in reaching a golden standard of motoring and to remind them of their responsibilities to themselves, their passengers and all other road users.

Kajto’s ERC heart beating faster in Cyprus

Kajetan Kajetanowicz says that leading the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship is making his “heart beat faster”, as he hopes to extend his advantage on this weekend’s CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally. The Polish LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5 driver has arrived in Cyprus with a 23-point lead in the standings, and is aiming to take full advantage of the fact that this time, second-placed Craig Breen is not competing. “I feel the responsibility of leading the FIA European Rally Championship standings, especially because we will defend our hard-won advantage on very demanding gravel stages of Cyprus, in extreme heat and on roads which punish not only the tyres but also the crew,” said Kajto. “When I was a boy, I always had bold dreams, but even then I could not have imagined that I would be able to do what I love, at such high level. This is why today I am so happy and I am looking forward to competing in the rally which was won so many times by world champions.”

Jeets looking forward to double ERC gravel adventure

Estonia’s Raul Jeets is looking forward to a double FIA European Rally Championship gravel adventure, as he contests this weekend’s CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally, and the following SEAJETS Acropolis Rally (10-11 October), both for the very first time. Jeets will drive the same MM-Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5 on both events, and the car will go directly from the finish in Larnaca to the start in Loutraki. “All the rallies in this year’s European Rally Championship, except Latvia and Estonia, are new to us and it’s a big adventure,” said Jeets. “The stages here in Cyprus are very nice, and it’s good to be back on gravel – even though there is a lot of asphalt!”


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Paul Evans
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