Driving an Audi Coupe Quattro, David Llewellin and Phil Short were outright winners of the Rothmans Cyprus Rally at the end of September, just over eleven minutes ahead of local crew, and former winners, Vahan Terzian and lannos Theophanous in a Nissan 200SX. From 63 starters there were 32 finishers, representing a low retirement rate by Cyprus standards.
One of the toughest events in the European calendar, the 500-mile rally is characterised by rough, tortuous roads, dust and intense heat, demanding a low final-drive ratio, good engine cooling, an airtight interior, a plentiful tyre supply and a good deal of personal stamina.
Llewellin experienced engine overheating, as many others did, lost his power-steering for a while, and had his gearbox jam in second — a problem which was apparently resolved merely by changing the oil.
Among those who failed to finish were Hungarian driver Attila Ferjancz in an Audi Quattro, who was as high as second in the early stages but stopped when his timing belt broke, Ola Stromberg from Sweden who put his Saab 900 Turbo off the road, and Bulgarian Stojan Kolev who broke the sump of his Audi Coupe Quattro on the very first special stage.
It is a great shame that more outsiders do not journey to Cyprus for this fine rally, held on a sunny, picturesque island where is seems the entire population is enthusiastic, friendly and hospitable. What is more, the organisers are as helpful a bunch as you will find anywhere. GP