A majestic weekend of rallying came to an end on Sunday as Abdulaziz Al Kuwari and Killian Duffy claimed a very impressive third place finish on the 2014 Cyprus Rally. In what was a one-of-a-kind event, two sanctioned FIA rounds ran side by side with the ninth round of the ERC and the fifth round of the MERC both taking place on the same weekend.
Al Kuwari, whose plan from the onset was to collect points for the MERC (Middle East Rally Championships ) began his run to the podium early on Friday with the opening Super Special Stage in the streets of Nicosia. The Qatari, with Duffy by his side, battled the tough route conditions and scorching temperatures on the island over the next three days to arrive back at rally headquarters in Aglantzia, third in the overall standings and top registered MERC crew.
The result means that they close the gap to the championship leader, Nasser Al Attiyah, to six points and set up what is bound to be a great fight at the final round in Dubai at the end of November.
Speaking afterwards Duffy said: “We came here and took 25 points for the MERC, which was the most important thing. The championship is wide open now and we have a chance. If we win in Dubai and Nasser comes third, we win the championship, but also if Khalid Al-Qassimi were to win, he will take the overall. It’s really good considering after the second round in Kuwait, we didn’t have a sponsor to be able continue in the championships, but after backing from the ministry of youth and sport in Qatar, Abdulaziz and I are in contention with one round remaining.”