The Cyprus Rally 2016 is gearing up to excite fans with an incredible show. The splendid combination of the stages, the rich number of crews taking part and the innovations at hand make up the magic recipe that will be enjoyed by motorsports fans.
Organizers presented all the details of the event to take place in Nicosia 7-9 October during a press conference here today, in the presence of Jean-Baptiste Ley, executive member of the European Rally Championship organization.
The Rally will host the tenth round of the European Rally Championship, and at the same time the fifth round of the Middle-East Rally Championship. Once again, this makes the Cyprus Rally as the only rally in the world which hosts two regional championship rounds of the FIA. At the same time the rally will also be the fourth Cyprus Rallying Championship round.
Fourteen Special Stages with a total length of 822.47 will make up the Cyprus Rally 2016, 214,17 of which will be competitive kilometers on mixed surface (dirt/asphalt). The main highlights of this year start with the Ceremonial Start and Finish which sees them return to the beachfront of Limassol, just next to the Mediterranean. Also, after many years, this year’s rally will once again have Special Stages running during the night while on Saturday, the heart of Nicosia will host the Super Special Stage. Finally on Sunday, the crews will have the chance to compete for financial prizes at the Love Cyprus Golden Stage, which will be consisted of the two last Special Stages of the rally.
Action will begin at 10 in the morning of Friday, the 7th of October, with the Qualifying Stage in Agios Sozomenos, Nicosia. In this stage, drivers will ERC priority will take part and after they are done the starting position selection process will take place. Here there drivers will pick their starting position, depending on how fast they were on the Qualifying Stage. Then the first Press Conference will follow with the three fastest drivers of the Qualifying Stage but also the fastest Cypriot crew. The starting selection procedure and the press conference will be hosted at the headquarters in the Conference Center.
The Friday program does not stop with the Qualifying Stage or the Ceremonial Start in Limassol. The crews will need to cover two night special stages before they return to Nicosia and the Service park which will be situated right next to the Police Headquarters in the capital. The second part of the rally starts early on Saturday, with a total of eight stages, three of which will be repeated. The eighth and final stage is none other than the Super Special Stage which is set to begin at 16:16 and will see the cars drive through the streets of Nicosia. The crews will then return to the Service Park for the night.
The rally begins at 08:20 on Sunday, with the remaining crews having to cover the Friday night stages again before tackling the final two stages of the rally which make up the Love Cyprus Golden Stage. The total time of the crews through these stages will be added in order to determine the winners, who will receive financial prizes which amount to a total of 60 thousand euro. This prize is a kind gift from the Cyprus Tourism Organization and crews from the European Rally Championship, the Middle-East Rally Championship and the Cypriot Championship can all compete for them. After the two Love Cyprus Golden Stage, the crews will head to the finishing ramp, once again at the beachfront in Limassol at 15:00, to conclude their three-day battle against time.
Highly esteemed European crews will square off against crews from the Middle-East and Cyprus for a spot on the podium. On the entry list one can see big names, like Alexey Lukyanuk who is second in the ERC standings, and third-placed Ralf Sirmacis. It should be noted that this year will mark the first participation of the Castrol Ford Team Turkey with a total of five crews as well as Team Greece with their star driver Lambros Athanasoullas. The entry list will also include 43 Cypriot crews.
The event will be covered on a daily basis by Eurosport.