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No stopping Nordgren as ERC top three covered by 8.8 seconds in Cyprus

No stopping Nordgren as ERC top three covered by 8.8 seconds in Cyprus

16.06.2018: FIA European Rally Championship 2018: Round 4 of 8 Cyprus Rally: Leg one Saturday, June 16th 2018 *Young Finn in front in thrilling battle as Al-Attiyah and Lukyanuk hit trouble

FIA European Rally Championship 2018: Round 4 of 8
Cyprus Rally: Leg one
Saturday, June 16th 2018


 

*Young Finn in front in thrilling battle as Al-Attiyah and Lukyanuk hit trouble

*Russian rocket’s title lead under attack from SEAJETS-backed Magalhães

*Polykarpou heads ERC2, Pellier rapid in ERC2 in Saintéloc PEUGEOT
 



ŠKODA Motorsport-backed junior talent Juuso Nordgren turned in a clean FIA European Rally Championship performance on the Cyprus Rally’s dusty roads, establishing a 4.6s lead over local expert Simos Galatariotis with Bruno Magalhães 4.2s behind in third following a day of thrilling action and drama.



In a drastic change of fortunes, Nordgren was able to take advantage of the tricky conditions that caught out several rivals to move into first position, a stark contrast to two weeks ago when he retired from the EKO Acropolis Rally with multiple punctures.
 


Instead, Autotek Motorsport’s Nasser Al-Attiyah suffered a similar fate, picking up a puncture in both the first and second stages during this afternoon’s loop, leaving him short on spares after only taking a single backup tyre when leaving service in Larnaca.




Luckily he was able to survive on three wheels, staying in the rally and holding fourth place having moved in front when Alexey Lukyanuk crashed out on stage four.
 


Cypriot driver Simos Galatariotis is now second on his home event, only 4.6 seconds behind Nordgren. SEAJETS-backed Bruno Magalhães inherited third after Al-Attiyah’s troubles, 8.8s behind Nordgren. Al-Attiyah is now 48.4s adrift of Nordgren in fourth but still in contention with seven Sunday stages remaining.
 


Local prospect Alexandros Tsouloftas had been set to take a provisional podium spot, but he stopped early on Saturday’s final stage with a broken wishbone and unable to continue further. Norbert Herczig now completes the top five overall in his absence, 1m09.9s behind Nordgren.
 



What’s next? Sunday’s closing leg, the longest of the rally at 114.29 kilometres, features seven stages starting with the 24.50-kilometre Cyta Yeri test from 08h43 local time.



Among the highlights will be the superspecial stage through the streets of the Cypriot capital Nicosia from 09h36 and PSALTIS AUTOPARTS Golden Stage 1 and ENEOS Golden Stage 2, which bring the ERC counter to a close and carry a cash prize. Click here for results and live timing.
 


      

Richard Rodgers, photos FIA ERC

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16.06.2018 / MaP

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