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Cypriot Tsouloftas faces duel challenge of Cyprus and Jordan

2004 Jordan International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 4 of 8

For immediate release
Thursday, May 6th, 2004

CYPRIOT TSOULOFTAS FACES DUEL
CHALLENGE OF CYPRUS AND JORDAN

Andreas hopes to build on third place in Middle East Championship

AMMAN (Jordan): Leading Cyprus rally driver Andreas Tsouloftas faces a hectic two weeks, as the former Cyprus National Rally Champion plans to tackle both the Cyprus round of the FIA World Rally Championship and the Marlboro-supported fourth round of the Middle East series in Jordan in the space of 10 days.

The Cyprus Rally begins next Wednesday (May 12th) and finished on Sunday, May 16th, but that only leaves Tsouloftas a mere 24 hours to reach Amman before he begins preparations for the three-day Jordan International Rally the following weekend.

The Cypriot currently lies third overall in the FIA Middle East rally series, following an excellent second position in Bahrain and fourth overall in Oman last month. But Andreas is also a keen supporter of rallies in his native Cyprus and had no intention of missing his opportunity to compete against the world's greatest drivers, such as Spaniard Carlos Sainz, Norway's Petter Solberg, Estonia's Markko Martin and Finland's Marcus Gronhölm.

Andreas is set to travel directly from Larnaca to Amman to begin the recce for the Jordan International Rally, which he lists as one of his favourite events in the world calendar.

~The stages in Jordan are varied,~ said Andreas. ~~The first day in the desert is normally fast, with many rough sections, and then the stages around the Dead Sea and Mount Nebo are twisty, flowing and technical. They suit my driving style. I really enjoy this rally and have been competitive in Jordan in the past.

~Now that the new GPS tracking system has been introduced, everyone will have a fair chance over the desert stages where it has been difficult to monitor the path of some cars in recent years.~

Andreas was in contention for a top 10 position in last year's Cyprus Rally, before leaving the road in his Group A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. He finished second overall with co-driver Savvas Laos in the 2003 Jordan Rally, albeit 10 minutes behind Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah, who went on to clinch the FIA Middle East title for the first time last December.

~I would be happy with a podium position in Jordan to keep the championship challenge on track,~ added Andreas. ~It won't be easy. Nasser, Khalid Al-Qassimi and Hamed Al-Wahaibi are very quick and there are around 10 other drivers capable of causing an upset.~

This year's Marlboro-supported Jordan International Rally is based at the Amman Marriott Hotel and returns to its traditional May date for the first time since 2001.

For further information about the 2004 Jordan International Rally and entry details contact Ziad Louza at the Royal Automobile Club of Jordan (RACJ), Tel: + 9626 5850626, Fax: + 9626 5818131, E-mail: racj@go.com.jo

Ends

For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 2004 Jordan International Rally Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, Tel: + (44) 1952 825078, Fax: + (44) 1952 825001, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com, www.ndp-publicity.com/press

Date issued: 06/05/2004

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NDP Publicity Services
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