Nasser Al-Attiyah tops Cyprus Rally Qualifying Stage

Nasser Al-Attiyah tops Cyprus Rally Qualifying Stage

15.06.2018: FIA ERC Rallyes CYPRUS RALLY Friday, June 15th 2018 Nasser Al-Attiyah kicked off his return to the FIA European Rally Championship with victory in Rally Cyprusí Qualifying Stage, beating

FIA ERC Rallyes
CYPRUS RALLY
Friday, June 15th 2018


Nasser Al-Attiyah kicked off his return to the FIA European Rally Championship with victory in Rally Cyprus’ Qualifying Stage, beating Juuso Nordgren by 1.8 seconds. Al-Attiyah is Cyprus Rally’s defending winner, having won five times in total, more than anyone else.



This meant it was little surprise when he piloted his Autotek Motorsport-prepared Ford Fiesta R5 to first place in Qualifying, ahead of Nordgren’s Wevers Sport-run ŠKODA Fabia R5.



“We have a really positive feeling, a really good atmosphere working with the team,” Nordgren told ERC Radio stage end reporter Chris Rawes.



“It seems Nasser found some special lines in here, he’s so much faster. I’m happy to beat [Alexey] Lukyanuk. We’re not in attack mode, we need a clean finish to restart our season.”



Championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk, who has two wins under his belt in ERC this season, admitted he had a difficult challenge on his hands against Al-Attiyah, going 2.5s slower than him in the Qualifying Stage to be third fastest.



“I think he knows how to drive these roads better than we do. It’s not a big drama,” said Lukyanuk of Al-Attiyah.



Orhan Avcioğlu was fourth quickest aboard his Toksport WRT-prepared Fabia, 4.5s slower than Al-Attiyah. Simos Galatariotis mirrored his finishing position at the ERC’s previous round on EKO Rally Acropolis by going fifth quickest, 0.2s behind Avcioğlu.



SEAJETS-backed driver Bruno Magalhães was only sixth fastest, 5.1s behind Al-Attiyah. Former ERC2 regular Vojtéch Štajf was seventh on his ERC return, now driving a Fabia R5 and 6.0s behind Al-Attiyah in the Qualifying Stage.



ERC regulars Hubert Ptasezk (TRT Krezus Rally Team), Norbert Herczig (MOL Racing Team) and Dávid Botka (Sysinfo Rallye Team) completed the top 10.



Albert von Thurn und Taxis took his BRR Baumschlager Rallye & Racing Team-prepared Fabia to P11, ahead of Paulo Nobre in P12 with his own  Palmeirinha Rally team.



Alexandros Tsouloftas, who had shown good pace in the ERC last time out on EKO Rally Acropolis, was 13.3s slower than Al-Attiyah in P13. Most of his time loss came from overshooting a fast corner, meaning he had to reverse his Citroën DS3 R5 back onto the stage.



Petros Panteli was quickest of those in the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC2 category, P14 overall with his production-spec Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X prepared by Q8 Oils Rally Team. Panteli’s ERC2 rival Juan Carlos Alonso will be last to pick in this afternoon’s road order selection, thanks to scoring P15 in qualifying.



Road order selection kicks off in Cyprus Rally’s service park on Phinikoudes Beachfront, Larnaca at 13h30 local time (12h30 CEST).



- Richard Rodgers, photo FIA ERC

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/nasser-al-attiyah-cyprus-rally-qualifying-stage-erc---177370.html

15.06.2018 / MaP

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