- Time for Cyprus Rally – unique event run on mixed, asphalt and gravel surface;
- Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran aim for more points after winning Acropolis Rally;
- Competition in the island of Aphrodite is a joint round of European and Middle East Championships;
- The LOTOS Rally Team crew holds second position in the FIA ERC season’s standings;
- Cyprus Rally in numbers and first part of rally glossary – at the bottom of this press release.
Only two weeks separate round three and four of the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship, extremely exciting and hard-fought series. LOTOS Rally Team, fresh after winning Acropolis Rally in tremendous style, starts the 46th edition of Cyprus Rally with their sights set on 2015 repeat – the team won the FIA ERC classification back then. Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran arrive to the island of Aphrodite as second-placed crew in season’s standings, bringing their rally weapon – Ford Fiesta R5, serviced and prepared by Polish division of M-Sport, based in Kraków.
The winners of last week’s iconic battle in Greece face another great challenge. In the country 35 smaller than Poland Kajto and Jarek will fight over the course of more than 720 kilometres, including almost 220 competitive kilometres divided into 14 special stages. The surface is mixed: 80% gravel and 20% asphalt. The rally cars are equipped with suspension and tyres suitable for loose surface.
Kajetanowicz and Baran are motivated by important goal during their intense preparation and competition itself: record-breaking third consecutive European Rally Championship title. Cyprus is a crucial point on the rally map and marks the end of the first half of the season, consisting of eight rounds in total. In their two previous outings in this event Kajto scored second (2014) and first (2015) positions in the FIA ERC standings.
International competition for victory
Cyprus Rally forms also round two of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (FIA MERC) and this event dates back to 1970. It was a part of the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar eight times. Among winning drivers there are such legends as Stig Blomqvist, Ari Vatanen, Carlos Sainz, Colin McRae, Petter Solberg and Sébastien Loeb. In 1997 this rally was won by Krzysztof Hołowczyc, co-driven by Maciej Wisławski.
There are over 70 crews on the entry list. Poland is represented only by Kajetanowicz and Baran, who are seeded with starting number two. Number one belongs to Bruno and Hugo Magalhães (Portugal, Skoda Fabia R5), number three to double Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) co-driven by Mathieu Baumel (France) in a Ford Fiesta R5. No less than 59 crews drive 4WD cars.
The organisers of this exotic event surprise the rally world with their ideas and innovations every year. This time the crews will compete on stage in the United Nations’ Buffer Zone in Northern Cyprus. It was described by the United Nations (UN) as the most successful measure in the building of trust between the communities of Nicosia since 1974.
There are more unique stages: Love Cyprus Golden Stage 1 and 2, run on Sunday. Crews competing in each category (overall standings and 2WD category), who achieve the best result in both runs, will get financial bonuses. The prize fund is no less than 24 thousand euro. The test runs along Larnaca Bay, in south-eastern Cyprus. In the first version it is 5.31-kms long (100% gravel), in the second – 6.17 kms (74% on gravel, 26% on asphalt).
Six special stages are longer than 20 kilometres. The longest one, Cytanet Avdelero (82% gravel, 18% asphalt), measures exactly 23 kilometres and 430 metres.
Hard battle for points
Top spot in the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship is occupied by Bruno Magalhães, with 93 points to his name. Kajetan Kajetanowicz makes up the lost ground after difficult opening round in the Azores, where he left the road. Win in the previous round moved him into second position and helped to close the gap to 21 points. There are 39 points up for grabs in Cyprus, for overall victory and wins in both legs. The fight for victory is set to be amazing, probably in hottest conditions seen so far this year. Temperatures reach 40 degrees centigrade and the annual average exceeds 19 degrees – by comparison, it is just 8 degrees in Poland.
– The fantastic season continues, it is one of the most difficult ones in the recent FIA European Rally Championship history. Calendar, shortened to eight extremely challenging rounds, and impressive competition with many champions underline the importance of the events and limits the room for calculations. I respect my rivals very much and I expect a lot from myself. It will be the same during Cyprus Rally! I am proud of the whole LOTOS Rally Team – we fly off to Cyprus focused and motivated to exceed further boundaries.
Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Jarek Baran are supported by strategic partner of LOTOS Rally Team – LOTOS Group – as well as CUBE.ITG, Delphi and Driving Experience. More info about Kajetan Kajetanowicz and the team available at: www.lotosrallyteam.pl, www.kajto.pl, www.facebook.com/EmocjeDoPelna, www.facebook.com/KajetanKajetanowicz and www.twitter.com/Kajto_pl
The 2017 FIA European Rally Championship standings after Acropolis Rally (round 3 of 8):
1. Bruno Magalhães (Portugal) 93 points
2. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Poland) 72 points
3. Alexey Lukyanuk (Russia) 46 points
4. Marijan Griebel (Germany) 27 points
5. José Maria López (Spain) 27 points
6. Grzegorz Grzyb (Poland) 22 points
7. Josh Moffett (Ireland) 20 points
8. Iván Ares (Spain) 19 points
9. Socratis Tsolakidis (Greece) 19 points
10. Alexandros Tsouloftas (Cyprus) 16 points
The 2017 Cyprus Rally in numbers:
- 2nd position of Kajetan and Jarek in the overall FIA ERC standings ahead of Cyprus Rally;
- 4th round of eight in the 2017 FIA European Rally Championship;
- 21 points – the gap between Kajetanowicz and current FIA ERC leader;
- 112 – the number of stages won by Kajto in the FIA ERC;
- 20% (43.9 kms) of special stages is on asphalt, the remaining 80% (175.8 kms) on rocky gravel roads;
- 2140 kms is the straight-line distance from Warsaw, capital city of Poland, to rally base in Nicosia;
- 3rd outing of Kajetanowicz in this rally;
- 2 podium finishes for LOTOS Rally Team, including one FIA ERC victory;
- 23.43 kms – the longest special stage of the rally, Cytanet Avdelero;
- 12 special stages won by Kajetanowicz and Baran in their previous outings in this event;
- Four wins in Cyprus Rally by its record holder, nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb;
- 14 special stages (219.74 kms) to cover in this year’s Cyprus Rally;
- 72 points scored by the LOTOS Rally Team crew in the opening three rallies of this season;
- 8 times this event was a part of the World Rally Championship calendar;
- 24,000 euro – the prize fund for the best crews on Love Cyprus Golden Stage;
- 59 crews in 4WD cars on the entry list of Cyprus Rally;
- 47 drivers in R5 cars took part in three previous rounds of the 2017 FIA ERC;
- 2 – Dakar Rally victories for Nasser Al-Attiyah who will also take part in the Cypriot event;
- 46th edition of this event takes place this year;
- In their 19 previous FIA ERC outings Kajto and Jarek scored points.
Rally Glossary – all about rallies
Part 1: special stage and road sections
In the first part of our Rally Glossary we will explain the topic of special stages and road sections: the route of the rally. Special stage (SS) is a section of closed road chosen by the organisers, where the crews fight against time. An event consists usually of dozen or so special stages and the final rally classification is set according to cumulative stage times for each crew (SS1 + SS2 + SS3… = result). There might be penalties applied, such as lateness at time control, checking too early at time control, jump start or hitting a “chicane”.
The crews move from one special stage to another in open traffic: these are “road sections”. Sometimes they are several tens of kilometres long and there is strict time limit to cover them. Sometimes crews change tyres or suspension set-up on road section, in order to achieve better time on the following special stage.
There are also superspecial stages, prepared especially for spectators in city centre or on purposely built tracks, such as Tor Mikołajki during Rally Poland, and Power Stages – the final stage of the rally, where the fastest crews are awarded with bonus points.
Schedule of the 2017 Cyprus Rally (all times are CET):
Friday 16 June:
06:00 – Free Practice
09:03 – Qualifying Stage (4.85 kms)
12:30 – Selection of start positions (Nicosia)
13:30 – Press conference (Nicosia)
18:00 – Starting ceremony (Larnaca)
Saturday 17 June:
06:43 – SS 1 – Kalo Chorio 1 (21.66 kms; 75% gravel, 25% asphalt)
07:36 – SS 2 – Giorgos Kyprianou Lefkara 1 (18.48 kms; 79% gravel, 21% asphalt)
08:24 – SS 3 – Cytanet Analiontas 1 (14.41 kms; 100% gravel)
10:27 – SS 4 – CNP Asfalistiki Super Special Stage 1 (4.15 kms; 27% gravel, 73% asphalt)
11:02 – Service A – 30 mins (Nicosia)
12:15 – SS 5 – Kalo Chorio 2 (21.66 kms; 75% gravel, 25% asphalt)
13:08 – SS 6 – Giorgos Kyprianou Lefkara 2 (18.48 kms; 79% gravel, 21% asphalt)
13:56 – SS 7 – Cytanet Analiontas 2 (14.41 kms; 100% gravel)
15:59 – SS 8 – CNP Asfalistiki Super Special Stage 2 (4.15 kms; 27% gravel, 73% asphalt)
Flexi Service B – 45 mins (Nicosia)
Length of special stages, Leg 1: 117.40 kms
Sunday 18 June:
07:32 – Service C – 15 mins (Nicosia)
08:10 – SS 9 – Psaltis Eneos Yeri 1 (22.00 kms; 81% gravel, 19% asphalt)
09:08 – SS 10 – Cytanet Avdelero 1 (23.43 kms; 82% gravel, 18% asphalt)
10:23 – Service D – 30 mins (Nicosia)
11:16 – SS 11 – Psaltis Eneos Yeri 2 (22.00 kms; 81% gravel, 19% asphalt)
12:14 – SS 12 – Cytanet Avdelero 2 (23.43 kms; 82% gravel, 18% asphalt)
13:29 – Service E – 30 mins (Nicosia)
14:57 – SS 13 – Love Cyprus Golden Stage 1 (5.31 kms; 100% gravel)
15:30 – SS 14 – Love Cyprus Golden Stage 2 (6.17 kms; 74% gravel, 26% asphalt)
16:03 – Service F – 10 mins (Nicosia)
17:00 – Ceremonial Finish (Nicosia)
Length of special stages, Leg 2: 102.34 kms
Length of special stages, Cyprus Rally: 219.74 kms