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Title-chasing ERC stars set for mixed-surface spectacular in Cyprus

ERC Acropolis Rally, Loutraki, Greece 28-30 March 2014

EVENT PREVIEW: 2014 FIA European Rally Championship, round nine of 11
CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally, 19-21 September 2014

12 September 2014

Playing catch-up will be key when the FIA European Rally Championship heads back to Cyprus for the first time since 1999 next week. With three scoring opportunities remaining before the all-action 2014 ERC season reaches its climax in Corsica, Craig Breen and Zoltán Bessenyey will both be anxious to score strong points on the CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally from 19-21 September.

Based in Nicosia and using mixed-surface stages, the legendary event represents an enormous opportunity for Irishman Breen and Hungarian Bessenyey to make inroads in their pursuit of the overall ERC drivers’ crown and the ERC 2WD title respectively.

Following last month’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Breen is 53 points behind Esapekka Lappi in the race to become 2014 European champion, while Bessenyey trails Stéphane Lefebvre by 15 points in the ERC 2WD standings.

With neither Lappi nor Lefebvre including the Cyprus Rally on their schedules for 2014, Breen (Peugeot Rally Academy 208T16) and Bessenyey (Eurosol Racing Team Hungary Honda Civic Type R) are well placed to capitalise with a maximum of 39 points up for grabs for both drivers.

However, they won’t just be facing serious competition ahead but a tough challenge too, with drivers required to master the art of competing against the clock on a combination of asphalt and gravel roads on the same special stage, and with a compromised car set-up. While a move away from the famous Troodos Mountains due to the risk of forest fires means faster and less punishing stages, high ambient and ground temperatures will provide a big test for car and crew.

Following Free Practice and the Qualifying Stage on Thursday 18 September, the action begins in earnest with a landmark test through the streets of the Cypriot capital Nicosia on Friday 19 September. Part of the route runs through the United Nations-controlled buffer zone between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish areas of the historic city. Saturday’s action consists of four repeated stages south of Nicosia with three visits to the permanent service park in the capital. Sunday’s route features three repeated stages, including two west of Nicosia. There will be another three service park visits ahead of the finish in Nicosia at 18:30hrs local time.

A game of percentages in the ERC
Round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship will be an event like no other with mixed-surface stages featuring extensively on the CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally. Although the event is designated a gravel rally, which will require crews to use gravel settings and tyres, 35.76 per cent of the competitive route – or rather 82.98 kilometres – will run on asphalt with the remaining 64.24 per cent (149.04 kilometres) on loose-surface roads. However, the 14.25-kilometre Tseri stage, which is used twice on Sunday, uses gravel roads only.

CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally stage surface breakdown
CNP Asfalistiki SSS: Asphalt 82 per cent, Gravel 18 per cent
Kotsiatis: Asphalt 21%, Gravel 79%
Lythrodontas: Asphalt 86%, Gravel 14%
Lefkara: Asphalt 26%, Gravel: 74%
Klavdia: Asphalt 62%, Gravel 38%
Tseri: Gravel 100%
Asinou: Asphalt 4%, Gravel 96%
Xerarkaka: Asphalt 25%, Gravel 75%

Showroom showdown in Cyprus
A single point separates FIA ERC Production Car Cup contenders Martin Hudec (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX) and Vitaliy Pushkar (Lancer Evolution X) starting the CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally. Hudec, from Czech Republic, holds the showroom class lead following his podium finish on his home event last time out. However, Ukrainian Pushkar was victorious when the ERC visited Greece for the Acropolis Rally in late March, which featured a day on asphalt and a day on gravel. Hudec and Pushkar will face strong opposition from several leading Cypriot drivers, plus ERC Ladies’ Trophy contender Inessa Tushkanova.

Breen versus Kajetanowicz in ERC Gravel Masters
Craig Breen and Kajetan Kajetanowicz will face off to become the inaugural ERC Gravel Master on the CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally. The event marks the fourth and final scoring opportunity for ERC drivers to chase ERC Gravel Masters points. With current leader Ott Tänak not competing on the Nicosia-based event, Peugeot Rally Academy’s Craig Breen is the driver in the ascendancy with 108 points compared to the 81 scored by LOTOS Rally Team’s Kajetanowicz. Introduced for the 2014 season, the ERC Masters recognises the achievements of surface specialists competing in the European championship. Robert Kubica clinched the ERC Ice Master award in February. Esapekka Lappi heads the ERC Asphalt Master table with two events remaining. Points are awarded on a 10-6-4-2-1 scale to the fastest five ERC drivers on each stage.

One rally, two FIA championships
The CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally will not only host round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship, it also marks the penultimate event in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship season. While there will only be one overall classification for the rally, drivers will register for the ERC or MERC championship and will score points in their respective series due to a slight variation in the sporting regulations concerning the distribution of points and restart rules in the event of a retirement. Several MERC drivers will be competing in Cyprus including multiple champion and three-time Cyprus Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, Khalid Al-Qassimi, Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari and Yazeed Al-Rajhi.

Happy hunting ground for Consani
While Robert Consani has no experience of the stages included on this year’s CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally, the ERC regular has competed in Cyprus before when the country hosted the Intercontinental Rally Challenge finale in 2012. Although gearbox failure forced his exit from the then Pafos-based event, the Frenchman did enough to clinch the IRC Production Car Cup spoils. He will return in a Delta Racing Peugeot 207 S2000.

New-generation cars set for Cyprus action
Three new-generation R5 cars will be competing on the CNP Asfalistiki Cyprus Rally: Craig Breen and Bruno Magalhães will contest the ERC qualifier in a brace of Peugeot 208T16s, while Kajetan Kajetanowicz will compete in a Ford Fiesta R5. Breen gave the Peugeot a debut ERC victory on the Acropolis Rally in March, while Magalhães used the car in the ERC for the first time in Czech Republic last month, finishing 10th overall. Kajetanowicz became the first driver to win a round of the ERC in an R5 car when he triumphed on Rally Poland last September.

Q&A: Kajetan Kajetanowicz
A winner of the Polish championship on four occasions, Kajetan ‘Kajto’ Kajetanowicz is applying his considerable pace and ability to the ERC in 2014. The LOTOS Rally Team ace looks ahead to his Cyprus Rally debut.

The Cyprus Rally is unique in that the stages are a mix of asphalt and gravel. How much experience do you have of mixed-surface stages and how much of a challenge will this be?
“It is easy to guess that this is a huge challenge for me, especially if I tell you that only once in my career did I start in a similar mixed-surface event. It was last year’s Rallye Waldviertel and compared to what is awaiting us in Cyprus I can say that those were just a couple of short Tarmac sections on gravel roads. I think that everything we can expect in Cyprus will be new to us. I heard the gravel there really hits the tyres so this is the next rally in which the word ‘compromise’ will have new meaning. I can say I am happy because once again I will have a chance to compete on new territory, with new opponents.”

It’s another new event for you, how do you prepare for a rally you have no experience of?
“Preparation for a new event means gathering information about it – from my colleagues and other teams and from the internet. However, nothing compares to the knowledge we can gain by competing in a rally. On one hand I want to discover these beautiful events and learn new lessons, but on the other hand it is nice to come back and take part in a rally for the second time. Our work is much easier then and we can focus on other things. This year we don’t have such a chance – except for Jännerrallye, which we tackled for the second time. Every round of FIA ERC is new to my team. We don’t have baseline set-ups for specific surfaces, prepared for characteristics of each event. And all of them are different; every start is a big adventure. We drive on melting ice, on snow, in 30-degrees heat around Acropolis, then on the slopes of a volcano. This is absolutely unique because we have never experienced such diversity in Poland. Of course our job is not as easy as is the case with some of our opponents – drivers of factory cars and privateers who compete in FIA ERC for some time – but I am happy because it is another challenge for me.”

Realistically, what result can you achieve in Cyprus and if you did win what does a traditional Kajto celebration involve?
“In Poland we had practised our celebration to perfection! I know that here we must be patient and always work hard. Above all, we compete because we want to fight and competition itself gives me pleasure – celebration is just an addition. Of course I will do my best, together with my team.”

There hasn’t been much time between Zlín and Cyprus but how have you kept busy?
“Well, I am happy that I don’t have to wait too long for the next rally! Of course it is a busy period, we have to organise everything and at the same time we must not forget about the media. A couple of days ago I met my fellow competitors and journalists during Rally Wisły, a round of the Polish championship, which I won last year and is close to my home. I also had a mild cold but now everything is okay and I am back to everyday training. Now I am gearing up for the journey to Cyprus – doing laundry and other ordinary daily activities.”

As well as some regular ERC rivals, you’ll also be up against some top drivers from the Middle East championship. What do you know about them and how strong do you think they will be?
“Of course the most well-known driver is Nasser Al-Attiyah. I am impressed by his versatility. I am happy that we will fight in the same rally. I have also heard about some other drivers, these are top names in MERC and I suppose they will be quick – just like my fellow rivals with whom I fight in most FIA ERC rounds.”

*The Cyprus Rally’s links with the ERC date back to 1978 when a coefficient 3 event was run. It achieved full coefficient 20 status in 1988 but has never appeared on the calendar since the restructuring in 2004 until now.
*Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean – only Sicily and Sardinia are bigger. It has a population just short of one million people.
*The capitol Nicosia, or Lefkosia in Greek, is situated roughly in the centre of the island in the Mesaoria Plain.
*Unlike the majority of member states in the European Union, traffic moves on the left-hand side of the road, not on the right.
*A visit to Cyprus wouldn’t be complete without a meal of meze – a collection of more than 20 different appetisers and savoury dishes. But if you’re in a hurry, like the ERC drivers, then souvlaki (small chunks of charcoal grilled pork or chicken served in pitta bread with salad) is highly recommended.

EVENT ESSENTIALS (all timings local)
Starts: 17:30hrs, Friday 19 September, Ministry of Finance, Nicosia
Finishes: 18:30hrs, Sunday 21 September, Service Park, Nicosia
Headquarters: Filoxenia Conference Centre, 17 Thrakis Street, CY-1311 Nicosia
Service park: Lieutenant-General Evangelos Florakis Street, Nicosia
ERC appearances (since the restructuring in 2004): None
Stages: 15
Stage distance: 232.02 kilometres (138.38 kilometres leg one, 93.64 kilometres leg two)
Liaison: 541.32 kilometres
Total: 773.34 kilometres
Surface: Asphalt (82.98km/35.76%) and gravel (149.04km/64.24%)

Media accreditation and media centre: Filoxenia Conference Centre, Nicosia
Opening times: 12:00hrs-17:00hrs, Tuesday 16 September; 10:00hrs-20:00hrs, Wednesday 17 September; 10:00hrs-22:00hrs, Thursday 18 September; 08:00hrs-24:00hrs, Friday 19 September; 08:00hrs-24:00hrs, Saturday 20 September; 07:00hrs-23:00hrs, Sunday 21 September
Free Practice (for FIA/ERC priority drivers): 13:30hrs-15:30hrs, Thursday 18 September, Potamia (4.47km)
Qualifying Stage (for FIA/ERC priority drivers): 16:00hrs, Thursday 18 September, as above
Shakedown (for all other drivers): 17:00hrs-18:30hrs, Thursday 18 September, as above
Start order selection: 18:30hrs, Thursday 18 September, Service Park, Nicosia
FIA Action for Road Safety photo: 18:40hrs approx, Thursday 18 September, Service Park, Nicosia
Pre-rally press conference: 20:00hrs, Thursday 18 September, Filoxenia Conference Centre, Nicosia. Craig Breen and Kajetan Kajetanowicz will be among the attending drivers
Ceremonial start: 17:30hrs, Friday 19 September, Ministry of Finance, Nicosia
Post-event press conference: 19:30hrs, Sunday 21 September, Filoxenia Conference Centre, Nicosia. The top three drivers and co-drivers plus the winning team manager will be in attendance
Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy presentation: Immediately following the post-event press conference at Filoxenia Conference Centre, Nicosia







Media FIA ERC 2014

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Media & Comunicación Astra Racing WRC Team
Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy
Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 14 años




This post is also available in: English Deutsch (German) Español (Spanish)











SS11 – Al-Khor 2 – 18.18km.


LUSAIL (Qatar): Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah cruised through the final six gravel special stages of the Manateq Qatar International Rally to seal a convincing victory on Saturday.

A record-breaking 14th victory in his home event also marked a remarkable 70th MERC victory in the 211-event history of the FIA Middle East Rally Championships since 1984. His French co-driver Matthieu Baumel duly claimed his third win in Qatar and a career 18th in the MERC.

The success also marked the first outright FIA championship rally win for Volkswagen’s Polo GTI R5 that made its debut at the WRC in Spain last October and claimed WRC 2 success in Sweden in February with Norwegian driver Ole Christian Veiby. Customer Polos have already won national events in Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Latvia this year



Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, International Press Officer, 2019 Manateq Qatar International Rally

Photos: @Media Qatar?? Motor & Motorcycle

Thursday, March 16th, 2019 

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 14 años




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Mucho trabajo, preparativos para el armado de la edición 124 de nuestra publicación RRM Argentina y además muy felices con la estupenda aceptación de miles de seguidores en nuestras fanpages en las redes sociales.  Mucho agradecimiento y confianza para seguir por más en todos los aspectos de la información en la actividad a nivel nacional e internacional.


4 de Febrero 2015

Hola Amigos & fans, les quiero agradecer profundamente su seguimiento diario, mediante mis informes, fotos, links de mis fanpages de trabajo, de teams, drivers, videos y todo lo relacionado con la actividad que nos apasiona, y nos une en cada jornada, el RALLY, en especial el WRC. Llegamos juntos a 11.000 friends que comparten esta pasión, y labor junto a mí.

Los quiero mucho, un fuerte abrazo y vámos por más.
Les entrego esta emocionante foto de uno de mis autos favoritos, diría de leyenda el Subaru Impreza WRC 555 que tripulaban en el Rally de Cataluña en España 2002, el vikingo noruego Petter Solberg y su navegante galés Phil Mills junto a la histórica empresa británica Prodrive, bajo el apoyo económico desde Mitaka en Tokio en Japón by STI.

A menos de 10 días del Rally blanco de Suecia, con mucha expectativa para volver a ver a los mejores exponentes del WRC en los caminos forestales nórdicos, les dejamos una foto recordatoria de la edición 1995 con el Impreza 555 de Grupo A que intervinieron en esa instancia en el equipo azul de Prodrive, el español Carlos Sainz, el recordado escocés Colin McRae y el local Mat Jonsson.


All The Best.



Hello Friends & fans, thank you deeply I want their daily tracking, by my reports, photos, links of my fanpages work, teams, drivers, videos and everything related to the activity that we love, and unites us in every day, RALLY, especially the WRC. We came together to 11,000 friends who share this passion, and work with me.

I love them dearly, a big hug and go for more.
I give this exciting picture of one of my favorite cars, say legendary Subaru Impreza WRC 555 who manned the Rally of Catalonia in Spain 2002, the Norwegian the Viking Petter Solberg and his Welsh navigator Phil Mills beside the historic British company Prodrive, under the financial support from Mitaka in Tokyo in Japan by STI.









Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy
Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Fotos: Prensa Subaru STI / Prodrive Motorsport / Gran Bretaña

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 14 años




This post is also available in: English Deutsch (German) Español (Spanish)


Los dos eximios fotógrafos se reunieron en Salou, para revivir su historia en el WRC, preparando todo para la cobertura de la 50 edición del Rally mixto catalán.



22 de Octubre 2014

Dos grandes amigos y fotógrafos de la historia en el WRC, un italiano, Manrico Martella & Miquel Liso., un español que ha dado todo por el Rally en la década de los años 90. Hoy con dos trabajos diferentes, Manri con la labor a tiempo completo en el Rally Mondiale e Miquel con su talento innovador en las fotografías en la fórmula 1.
También con sus nuevos libros, que remiten la mítica leyenda de la Lancia Delta Hf Integrale & el anuario de la máxima categoría del automóvilismo internacional, la F1.
Esperando el Rally RACC Catalunya – Rally de España se encontraron en Salou para conversar de las vivencias del pasado y actuales que tienen hoy en día en el Motorsport en el plano global ambos con su esencia de buenas personas y con gran capacidad de lavoro, tomando las mejores imagénes de la actividad en el deporte del motor.
Salud campeonessss……











Media & Press Pure WRC

Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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