Cyprus Rally organisers work against the clock to assist WRC teams

2004 Cyprus Rally
FIA World Rally Championship, round 5 of 16

For immediate release
Wednesday, May 12th, 2004


Rally ship arrives late in Limassol; Teams race against the clock to prepare for start

LIMASSOL (Cyprus): Officials and volunteers at the Cyprus Automobile Association have been working against the clock over the last 48 hours to assist teams, officials and members of the international rallying community in their preparations for the start of this weekend's Cyprus Rally.

Each of the major teams has been forced to make last minute amendments to their respective schedules, because of the late arrival of the ship containing equipment, service vehicles, tyre trucks and the actual rally cars, which are set to compete in the fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship, starting on Friday morning.

The ship was originally scheduled to arrive at midnight on Sunday evening and the equipment should have been unloaded on Monday morning, but adverse weather conditions on the Meditterranean Sea forced it to take a much longer course. The vessel was expected to dock in Limassol at 01.00 hrs on Thursday morning, leaving teams, mechanics and technicians limited time to prepare for scrutineering and the traditional event shakedown on Thursday afternoon.

Equipment will be discharged from the vessel between 02.00 hrs and 06.00 hrs on Thursday morning and the FIA has permitted the service park to remain open throughout the night to enable teams to set up the rally cars in time for the revised shakedown. This has now been shortened by an hour and will take place between 13.00 hrs and 15.00 hrs on Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, the two pre-event press conferences have been moved back three hours to 18.30 hrs and 18.50 hrs, respectively.

To ensure that the leading teams could carry out a 'recce' of the stages on Wednesday and Thursday, officials at the Cyprus Automobile Association assisted teams in their search for the numerous rental cars needed for drivers to complete the 'recce' in time.

~We have managed to carry out our recce without major delays,~ said a team spokesman. ~But the only downside was that the recce was carried out in right-hand drive rental cars and the drivers are used to driving left-hand drive cars on the special stages. But it's the same for everyone. We have all been in the same boat!~

~We were forced to make a few crucial revisions to the timetable for the next 24 hours,~ said Route Co-ordinator Demetris Ioannou. ~But this has been carried out with the full co-operation and support of the FIA and the teams. Everything else is running according to plan and there will be no delays to the actual ceremonial start in Limassol on Thursday evening or the start of the competitive action on Friday.

~We would also like to pay special thanks to the Limassol Ports Authority and customs officials for offering to work throughout the night to assist with the unloading of the vessels,~ added Ioannou.


For further media information:
2004 Cyprus International Rally Press Office, Media Centre, Limassol,
Tel: + 357 25873962, Fax: 25716593,
E-mail: pressoffice1@actionprgroup.com or ndppublicity@compuserve.com

Date issued: 12/05/2004

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