European Rally Championship: Dramatic win for local hero at Cyprus
The Cypriot Simos Galatariotis in a Škoda Fabia R5 achieved the best result of his career by winning the 47th Cyprus Rally, the fourth round of the 2018 European Rally Championship, defeating Bruno Magalhaes (Škoda Fabia R5) by just 0.6 seconds in the thrilling finish. It’s the first win for a Cypriot driver in ten years in the event which was a part of the World Rally Championship eight times in the past.
Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta R5) entered the last 19.82 km long stage with 2.3 second advantage over Galatariotis and 11.4 seconds ahead of Magalhaes. Al-Attiyah suffered a front-right puncture on the last stage and had to stop to change a tyre, losing three minutes.
Galatariotis also had a puncture on the last stage which slowed him down. It seemed that Magalhaes would win thanks to his safe approach but, at the end, Galatariotis took sensational victory by 0.6 seconds. Al-Attiyah’s misfortune promoted Norbert Herczig (Škoda Fabia R5) to the third place overall.
ERC championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk retired earlier in the rally, during Saturday’s Special Stage 4. His DNF and runner-up spot for Magalhaes promoted Portuguese driver into the lead ahead of the fifth round, the Rally di Roma Capitale, scheduled for July 20-22.
Škoda Fabia R5 was also the victorious car in two great national championships this weekend. Jan Kopecky has won the Rally Hustopeče, the sixth round of the Czech Rally Championship, beating Martin Koči in another Fabia by more than a minute. Jan Černy was third in a Ford Fiesta R5.
The ADAC Rallye Stemweder Berg was the fourth round of the German Rally Championship (DRM) and ADAC Rallye Masters. Christian Riedemann took the victory in a Škoda Fabia R5, ahead of Marijan Griebel (Peugeot 208 T16) and Roman Schwedt (Peugeot 207 S2000).