The inaugural Paphos International Rally will take place from 1-3 July 2011, succeeding the longstanding and internationally acclaimed Troodos Rally.
At a press conference in Paphos on Thursday, the organisers of the Paphos International Rally gave details about what promises to be a hugely successful motor sports event, which is round 4 of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) and an official round of this yearâ€™s Cyprus National Rally Championship.
The new event will see competitors from across Cyprus and the region do battle on the islandâ€™s renowned special stages, a statement by Paphos International Rally said.
The organisers are the Cyprus Automobile Association (CAA), supported by Paphos municipality, promising a memorable Service Park located close to Paphosâ€™ harbour.
Speaking at the press conference, Chairman of the CAA Antonis Michaelides said they are â€œVery excited about what is sure to be a great event â€“ the all-new Paphos International Rallyâ€, expressing confidence that â€œthis year will mark the beginning of a new era in Cyprus rallyingâ€.
Mayor of Paphos Savvas Vergas, who attended the press conference, expressed his pride that Paphos will be hosting a major international sports event that will see the town and the island promoted on the international stage.
Entries are now open for the 2011 Paphos International Rally, which sits in the middle of this year’s MERC calendar.
MERC Rounds have already taken place in Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan, and Sheik Abdullah Al Qassimi of the UAE currently sits on top of the leaderboard with 51 points.
Qatarâ€™s Nasser Al-Attiyah sits second, just one point behind with 50 points, but will be feeling confident of victory given his spectacular unbroken run of eight victories at MERC events in Cyprus.
A further three rounds of the MERC will be held after the Paphos International Rally, in Lebanon, Syria and Dubai.
According to the statement, 2011 will see Cyprus host two major international rallying events. â€œAttracting entrants from across the globe, the Cyprus Rally is one of the best known rallies on the international stage and the 2011 event will take place between the 3rd and 5th November. It will serve as the 12th â€“ and final – round of the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) calendarâ€.