Pirelli ready for European Rally Championship finale on gravel and asphalt

Alexey Lukyanuk will be aiming to secure
series runner-up honours

While it’s already certain that all the major FIA European Rally Championship titles will go to Pirelli drivers this year, one big unknown is still to come: Rally Cyprus this weekend, the only round of the series to contain mixed stages of both gravel and asphalt. Many of the top contenders will be using Pirelli tyres in Cyprus, but the recently crowned European Rally Champion – Kajetan Kajetanowicz – will not be among them. Instead another Pirelli star, Alexey Lukyanuk, will be seeking to secure the accolade of championship runner-up, in a Ford Fiesta R5. Marijan Griebel will make his debut in the R5 category thanks to Pirelli, having been crowned ERC Junior Champion this season on the Italian tyres. As his reward, the German gets a drive in a Skoda Fabia R5, which fits in perfectly with Pirelli’s philosophy of supporting young drivers. Another driver to watch will be Hungary’s David Botka. Having won the ERC2 championship in 2015, he has shown plenty of potential in his first season with a Citroen DS3 R5 and he’s also the driver who has racked up the most ERC participations this year, with nine rallies entered in total within the top category. The rally: the rally route is unique in its mixed surfaces and also has a political significance. The special stage in Nicosia will go from Turkish territory to Greek territory, passing through a border zone controlled by the United Nations. The route: this is one of the few rallies that contain special stages with mixed surfaces. Of the 14 special stages on the schedule only three on the second day are held entirely on gravel. The others are split roughly 70%-30% in favour of asphalt, with the rest on gravel. This means that it is not only a big challenge for the tyres themselves but also for tyre choice. Quotes Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli rally activity manager: “Rally Cyprus is an unusual event combining gravel stages reminiscent of the Dakar Rally with other stages that are made up of both hard gravel and asphalt, with sealed-surfaces predominantly present. In the slowest and most twisty stages with hard gravel and a large percentage of asphalt the Scorpion XR5 will be used. On the faster gravel special stages with looser surfaces the Scorpion K4 and K6 will come into play, with the latter the ideal choice in cases of a damp or wet surface. These tyres proved to be the winning choice for Kajetanowicz throughout this season, Pirelli’s reigning European Rally Champion for the last two years.”


For further information please contact: Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • anthony@mediaticaworld.com