Al-Attiyah clinches Cyprus Rally win

Nasser Al-Attiyah clinched an ultimately-comfortable victory in the Cyprus Rally by pulling away from Roger Feghali over the deciding loop

Al-Attiyah clinches Cyprus Rally win

With little left to fight for in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge standings, most of the top teams chose to skip the Cyprus finale, leaving guest drivers like World Rally Championship and Dakar regular Al-Attiyah to take centre stage.

Two of his main rivals were out before the rally had barely begun, as pre-event favourite Andreas Mikkelsen's Hankook Ford suffered engine problems before the first full-length stage, and Peugeot's top driver Bryan Bouffier lost 25 minutes when he damaged his suspension on SS2.

That left Al-Attiyah and fellow Ford driver Martin Prokop to fight for victory. After a driveshaft problem had delayed Prokop on the opening night, he chased down Al-Attiyah and took the lead when his rival lost time with a jump-start penalty and a slow puncture on Friday afternoon.

But Prokop would not lead for long, as a second driveshaft breakage this morning cost him several minutes. Al-Attiyah lost time in Prokop's dust and was only seven seconds ahead of seven-time Lebanese champion Feghali's Skoda going into the last three stages, but the Barwa Ford man had the pace to pull away and win by 30.7s.

Prokop managed to salvage third ahead of his Czech Ford team-mate Jaromir Tarabus, despite a final-stage spin.

With Franz Wittmann also hitting trouble, Nicos Thomas was ultimately the highest-placed Peugeot in fifth, winning a long battle with top Group N driver (and ex-WRC man) Roman Kresta's Mitsubishi. Bouffier took some stunning stage wins after his Friday delay, before retiring with a broken wheel this morning.

Although the IRC championship season is now over, the crews will reconvene tomorrow for the new end-of-year Golden Stage event - a live televised shoot-out over two passes of a 31-kilometre stage in Limassol, which carries a 150,000-euro prize fund.

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford 3h11m43.5s 2. Roger Feghali Skoda + 30.7s 3. Martin Prokop Ford + 4m32.0s 4. Jaromir Tarabus Ford + 5m40.5s 5. Nicos Thomas Peugeot + 6m45.5s 6. Roman Kresta Mitsubishi + 7m16.6s 7. Charalambos Timotheou Mitsubishi + 12m44.0s 8. Constantinos Tingirides Mitsubishi + 13m20.6s 9. Misfer Almari Subaru + 14m50.3s 10. Panikos Polykarpou Mitsubishi + 19m15.8s 
Al-Attiyah reclaims Cyprus lead
Previous article

Al-Attiyah reclaims Cyprus lead

Next article

Mikkelsen wins Golden Stage

Mikkelsen wins Golden Stage
Load comments
Ireland deserves a WRC round Plus

Ireland deserves a WRC round

Drivers are in accordance: Ireland should be in the World Rally Championship. DAVID EVANS followed the Circuit of Ireland and was left with no doubt that the drivers are right

Apr 23, 2014
Kubica's rally to recovery Plus

Kubica's rally to recovery

Robert Kubica's rally speed is obviously there - in abundance - but he's got to stop crashing. Charles Bradley went to the Azores to get the lowdown on the ex-F1 star's comeback trail

May 3, 2013
Why Kubica can win on ERC debut Plus

Why Kubica can win on ERC debut

Former GP winner Robert Kubica makes his international comeback this week in the Canaries Rally. And David Evans reckons he'll win aboard a Citroen DS3 RRC

Mar 21, 2013
Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old Plus

Rallying's new era keeps the best of the old

As the IRC to ERC transformation takes effect in Austria, David Evans is excited that the IRC's promotional strengths will carry over - but still wishes the WRC could get some of that magic

Jan 3, 2013
Farewell IRC, long live ERC Plus

Farewell IRC, long live ERC

As the Intercontinental Rally Challenge prepares for its swansong in Cyprus, David Evans recalls the shortlived series' heyday - and looks ahead to its European successor

Nov 1, 2012
The 2011 IRC season review Plus

The 2011 IRC season review

The fifth Intercontinental Rally Challenge was the best yet, and it was Skoda UK driver Andreas Mikkelsen who emerged as champion from a tense five-way shootout at the season finale. Matt Beer reviews the season

Nov 22, 2011
Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally Plus

Who to watch in the Monte Carlo Rally

This year is the Monte Carlo Rally's centenary and, just as in recent years, there's no shortage of World Rally Championship stars turning up to give the IRC regulars a run for their money

Jan 18, 2011
The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010 Plus

The top 10 IRC drivers of 2010

The competition didn't run as deep as it might have, but there was plenty of fight at the front with six of our top 10 winning rallies during the season. Matt Beer puts them in order

Nov 29, 2010