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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Nasser seeks to clinch record win in Cyprus

Qatari ace on the verge of overtaking UAE’s Mohammed bin Sulayem for the most number of MERC titles.
Pic 2
Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah is keen to put behind the disappointment of last year and come away with a win this time. FILE PHOTO: Rally of Lebanon website

Qatar’s champion rally driver Nasser Al Attiyah will be hoping to shake off the ghosts of last year at the Cyprus Rally which starts on Friday.

He had suffered a heartbreak in the final stage last year, following a puncture. He dropped from being the leader to fourth position. This year he is not only aiming to win but also clinch the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) driver’s title for a record 15th time and surpass UAE’s Mohammed bin Sulayem, who also have 14 titles to his credit.

Nasser currently leads the driver’s standings with 116 points. If he wins in Cyprus it could virtually decide this year’s title in his favour despite one more race remaining – the Kuwait International Rally from October 31 to November 2.

DRIVER’S STANDINGS

  • Nasser Saleh Al Attiya (Qatar) 116 pts
  • Abdul Aziz Al Kuwari (Qatar) 61
  • Mshari Al Thefiri (Kuwait) 44
  • Rodrigue Rahi (Lebanon) 30
  • Marouf Abu Samra (Jordan) 25
  • Patrick Njeim (Lebanon) 25
  • Sheikh Hamad Al Thani (Qatar) 24
  • Henry Massaad (Lebanon) 20
  • Nasser Khalifa Al Atttiya (Qatar) 19
  • Khalid Al Suwaidi (Qatar) 16

A victory in Cyprus could see Nasser widen the gap with his compatriot and second-placed Abdul Aziz Al Kuwari (61 points).

The two-day Cyprus Rally has 12 stages with six stages on each day. The total distance is 684km with the surface being a mixture of gravel and asphalt.

The semi mountainous Special Stages in Nicosia district are a special addition this year and will prove a challenge for the drivers with their difficult turns. The Super Special Stage will be held in the heart of Nicosia and is scheduled for 5pm on Saturday.

The start and finish ceremonies will be held near the picturesque seaside beach of Foinikoudes in Larnaca.