Mikkelsen expecting Cyprus drama

Newly-crowned IRC champion Andreas Mikkelsen is expecting a dramatic race when the Intercontinental Rally Challenge series reaches its end at the Cyprus Rally from 2-4 November.

Mikkelsen expecting Cyprus drama

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IRC Cyprus Rally Toshi Arai action image

With a history dating back to 1970, the mixed-surface event lists a host of illustrious former winners including Stig Blomqvist, Sébastien Loeb, Colin McRae and Ari Vatanen.

And while Mikkelsen already has this year's title in the bag, he is looking forward to a race at the venue where he clinched the 2011 IRC drivers' crown following a five-way battle for the title

"With gravel and Tarmac switching together all of the time it's hard to find the best set-up for the car but you don't mind because of the beautiful landscape you encounter," he said.

"It's also a really good rally for the spectators because it's a nice place to be and it's warm and sunny."

This year's Cyprus Rally begins with a ceremonial start on the evening of Friday 2 November followed by the 3.20-kilometre SuperSpecial Stage through the streets of Pafos from 19:00 local time.

Six stages take place on Saturday 3 November over a competitive distance of 100.32 kilometres, with a further six stages running on Sunday 4 November with 133.62 kilometres timed. The finish will take place in Pafos at 16:23 local time.

One of the exciting changes for this year is the inclusion of the 19.43-kilometre Prodromi-Neo Chorio stage, which will run twice on day one. Last year it was used for the Golden Stage Rally and is considered a "beautiful and spectacular stage" by IRC Manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas.

Chris Christodoulou, the Cyprus Rally Media Officer, added: "We are extremely proud to be welcoming the IRC back to the eastern Mediterranean for the 2012 Cyprus Rally. Over the decades, our rally has gone from strength to strength, attracting the top names in motorsport and establishing a rich sporting heritage.

"This heritage means a great deal to us so we're committed to making this year's event as impressive as ever. Once again, we will be basing the rally in the coastal resort town of Pafos, which proved a major hit with drivers and fans alike last year. And, of course, everyone can be sure of receiving that warm Cyprus welcome for which our event is renowned."

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