CYPRUS GEARS UP FOR FIA MIDDLE EAST RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Cyprus is no stranger to the roar of rally cars… and the region’s top drivers will soon be heading to the eastern Mediterranean island once again for the ever popular Troodos Rally.
Round 5 of this year’s FIA Middle East Rally Championship, the Troodos Rally is always one of the most popular on the MERC calendar and the 2009 event promises to offer the levels of fun, excitement and sporting prowess that rally fans have come to expect.
Since 2000, the Troodos Rally has offered challenging stages, thrills and spills to keep the fans entertained and the competitors on their toes. One of the toughest events in the championship, it also proved an exceptional showcase for local and regional to talent. With just the Jordan and Dubai MERC rounds to go after Cyprus, the lead drivers in the championship will be going all out to gain maximum points here. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah has dominated this event in recent years (his victory here in 2008 marked his 6th consecutive Troodos Rally win!) and he will be looking to continue his run of success in his battle to retain the Championship crown – which he also won at last year’s Troodos event. But it won’t be easy. Despite two wins so far in the 2009 MERC, he sits in 3rd place on the leaderboard with 20 points, behind Yazeed Al-Rajhi of Saudi Arabia in 1st (with 28 points), and Qatar’s Misfer Al-Marri (21 points).
For 2008, the central base of the Troodos Rally moved to the west coast of Cyprus and the popular town of Geroskipou. Located close to the resort town of Paphos, the friendly, holiday atmosphere of Geroskipou proved popular with both competitors and fans – so much so that this year’s event will again be based here. The Ceremonial Start and Finish will be held at the town’s newly-renovated central square, and the drivers will have easy access to the challenging special stages that make this event unique.
Organised by the Cyprus Automobile Association (CAA) and supported by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, the 2009 Troodos Rally will be held over the weekend of the 9th-11th October.