Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Cyprus Rally

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Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar), with Mathieu Baumel (Andorra) as his co-driver in their Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 car, triumphed in the 50th anniversary Cyprus Rally over the weekend.

Oman’s Al-Rawahi came second, and Cypriot Christos Demosthenous.

The Qatari covered the 194.88 kilometres of the 12 special stages of the two-day event in a time of 3 hours, 3 minutes and 38 seconds, finishing top in the general classification, 3 minutes and 21 seconds faster than Abdullah Al-Rawahi / Ata Al-Hmoud with a Skoda Fabia R5 in second, improving on their 3rd place in 2021.

The award ceremony took place on Sunday evening at the old Nicosia city hall in Eleftheria Square, with the ambassador of Qatar, HE Ali Yousef Al-Mulla, presenting the trophy to his compatriot.

Nasser Al-Attiyah recorded his 8th victory in the Cyprus Rally (2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2023) and extended his multiple-winner lead.

In addition, he reached ten podium appearances since 2007, when he was 2nd, and in 2008 he was 3rd.

Second in wins in the Cyprus Rally, with four victories (2004, 2005, 2006, 2009), is the 9-time WRC champion Sébastien Loeb.

At the end of the first day, on Saturday, Simos Galatariotis was top in the general classification, along with co-driver Antonis Ioannou and a Volkswagen Polo GTi R5.

The 2018 Cyprus Rally winner was fastest on four of Saturday’s six special stages and built a 15.2-second lead over Al-Attiyah, which also gave him the victory in rally No3 of the Cyprus Championship (each day of the Cyprus Rally counted as a different event for the local championship).

But, early on Sunday, at SS7, he was forced to retire when he broke his radiator at the jump point on the Yeri stage.

Christos Demosthenous, with co-driver Kypros Christodoulou in a Skoda Fabia R5, finished third in the general classification and top of all the Cypriot crews.

With five placings in the top three of SS, the champion of Cyprus in 2015 and 2016 claimed for the second time in his career a spot on the podium of the Cyprus Rally after coming third in 2020.

Of the 23 crews that started on Friday night, 16 completed the first leg, and 15 completed the rally.