Rally of 2000

Welcome to the site of the Cyprus Rally 2000 for the World Rally Championship

7 – 10 September 2000


The winner Carlos Sainz

For Official Cyprus Rally 2000 pictures please go to Reporter Images.

These are freely available and will be kept on the site for one month.


News headlines:

Νικητής του Ράλλυ Κύπρος ο Κάρλος Σάινθ#- Monday, September 11, 2000
Sainz happy to win Cyprus#- Monday, September 11, 2000
Rally News 21#- Monday, September 11, 2000
RALLY NEWS No 20#- Sunday, September 10, 2000
RALLY NEWS No 19#- Sunday, September 10, 2000
RALLY NEWS No 18#- Sunday, September 10, 2000
McRae turns up the heat#- Saturday, September 9, 2000
Ο Σάινθ σταθερά στην πρώτη θέση#- Saturday, September 9, 2000
Rally News 17#- Saturday, September 9, 2000
Rally News 16#- Saturday, September 9, 2000

Rally HQ and Press offices in Limassol, were based at:

During the rally a Public information Office will also be running here.


 Public Information offices and outside press offices were operational during the rally at:

Alexander the Great – PafosA public information office will be operational during the Rally and,

for a day an outside press office will also be setup,  with the support of

Da Capo 
 Nicosia Makarios III Ave.

 A public information office will be operating at Da Capo during the Rally with the support of Da Capo.








History was made in Cyprus today with the finish of the Cyprus Rally 2000, the 10th Round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

In the post event press conference Sainz was congratulated on his first win for over two years and asked to give everybody an idea of what the emotion was like in the car over the last stage as he could smell victory.

“ I was always thinking that a win could be possible but unfortunately we have had a lot of bad experience in not celebrating until we are right to the end. We were not really sure until we arrived at the podium that we were going to win. It was a very, very good for us we are really, really happy. After so long being second and third it is good to win and I and very happy because the team is working well and we have a fantastic car and fantastic tyres.”

Carlos was asked whether he had told some of the journalists after the finish that this was one of his best ever wins.

“Well it is one of the best, because I have been leading from the first to the last and I felt confident driving the car. It has been a long time without winning and I hope the next one will not be such a long time coming.”

Q. Do he think that now he was in the thick of the world championship that he was starting afresh. “Are we seeing a new Carlos Sainz here or is this the old Carlos Sainz?” he was asked.

“I am exactly the same as a few hours ago and I don’t think I have improved my driving. I am 38-years-old and the only think that I can keep my motivation even when things are not going well and keep working very hard not only driving but physically and testing. I don’t think you are going to see anything new from me.

“I am glad to win here in a different rally again and to have 23 victories. I hope to keep competitive in the next four rallies and we will see. I think the car is going to be very strong and the team as well.”

Q. Do you really believe you can win the world championship this year?

“I am still at the back of the whole field, not so far away, but points are difficult this year in the championship and the opposition is not easy. But somehow last year Corsica was quite good for me. It is a rally that I enjoy. It was quite good in the testing. Quite good on the Catalonia Rally and there is no reason why we should not be optimistic but realistic as well before Corsica.”

Q. Luis Moya was asked was Cyprus the toughest rally you have contested and what was it like riding as a co-driver?

“I think it was a bit less tough than we expected but inside the car on the stages it was very, very hot but on the road sections it was better than in Greece because you always get some wind in the mountains. It was very hard for us and very hard for the car, but the car was incredible. No problems at all during the rally. We had two punctures, which we didn’t know we had until we checked the tyre pressures because we couldn’t feel them while driving. In fact everything was fantastic and Carlos put in his best drive ever.”

Q. He was asked why he thought nobody was able to touch them?

Moya: “I don’t know. If I knew, I probably wouldn’t tell you. I think that the long stages made all the difference and Carlos immediately got the feel of how to drive on the slow stages. It seems that everything was working absolutely perfectly. The car, the tyres and Carlos were driving well. We got a good lead and sometimes it is harder to drive with a good lead rather than when you are battling all the time. It was lucky we had this lead because today the roads were not cleaning very well and we could have lost the rally.

Q. Colin McRae was asked if he was happy with his position or was he frustrated to only finish second?

“I am very happy with the position. It is great for Ford because we are leading the manufacturers’ title by 15 points. The drivers’ title seems to get more exciting and who knows, maybe we will come to the RAC with more two drivers capable of winning. I am happy, it was a great position. It was a tough event. It was very difficult to find a rhythm. Unfortunately we had a brake problem in the long stage and it was the important one in the first stages to find that rhythm and get in the groove and after that we had to work double hard to get the right speed.”

Q. He was asked which of the next few rallies favoured out of the four contenders in the championship?

“I think it is fairly even playing for everybody. I think the guy who may struggle a bit is Marcus due to his inexperience, but the way he has been driving I don’t think it will be a problem for him. You are looking at four drivers that are going to very evenly matched and it will be a great fight all the way to the end.”

Q. He was asked about team orders?

“I think that when you look at the positions and the time gap and the way that the positions were changing. We took almost a minute on one stage, that when you start to try and play around with positions and go quicker or slower it can backfire very easily. It was good clean fight. It was a good clean rally for everyone and that was the best way to keep it.”

Q. These stages were predicted to be very tough and very rough. Give us a feeling of how they differed from other WRC stages you’ve had this year.

Grist. I think if you compare the wining average here to Finland it was literally half what it was in Finland. So 64khp so that gives you some idea. There are probably enough corners in this event to see us through the next two, most definitely.

Q. Now Ford is in the enviable or unenviable position of having two teams capable of winning the WRC. Obviously when Carlos joined and you were already there with Colin you said Oh my goodness this is going to be quite a battle with two top drivers. That reality is now not far off that there are two pairs both fighting for the championship What happens now. is it going to be a struggle of love or a power struggle within Ford?

The problem is not ours. It’s Malcolm Wilson and Martin Whittaker I think they are going to have the strain. Obviously both cars want to win that’s inevitable if we can tie up the mfrs championship sooner rather more later then let battle commence I think its only fair that both drivers should be allowed the chance to win and I think as long was we can tie up the manufacturers championship sooner more than later. Then I think its great

Very positive talk.

Absolutely its only a of question time an event where we win the manufacturers championship I hope sooner more than later.

That’s the pressure for you Malcolm. As if he needs any more!

Far end of the table, third position in the Cyprus Rally, Francois Delecour in the Peugeot Team. People might not necessarily have thought the Peugeot might have finished so high here because previously on rough events the Peugeot hadn’t shown to be so good over the more demanding rallies Why do you think the car held up so well here when people said it might not beforehand?

I don’t know because at the moment I do not so big experience in a difficult rally because OK Marcus engine went on Saturday they had many problem and on Acropolis this year we had also many, many problems. We have done a lot of work here We have been in Cyprus to do some tests and the car was good here for sure but I think Daniel can also say the same we are not going at the maximum during the rally because we feel that car sometimes not strong enough. We had to slow down sometimes on stages because I feel the car sometime not strong enough I was not pushing hard and also when Colin was in front of me 45 or 50 seconds I knew that it was impossible to catch him. But what I can say at the moment that the car is very, very efficient very fast we know that because Marcus won Finland and won in Sweden. In this type of rally we have to do a lot of work I think to drive like Ford.

Obviously the other teams are concerned about how good the Peugeot is on tarmac for the next few rallies. Do you think you are going to be able to beat the Fords and the Subarus who were dominant in Catalunya most recently?

We don’t know yet it’s so difficult to say it’s sure at the moment the test was very, very good for Marcus, Giles? and me and we’ll try to win in Corsica. If you remember last year I was fastest in Corsica but still unlucky I was also going fast in Sanremo leading at the end of the rally and still a problem at the end of the rally but I think this year will be much better, I hope.

Thank you Francois. Let’s pass the microphone to Daniel. There were some concerns on day two I think, sorry, on day one. The fuel consumption of the 206, at one point you had to push the car. Maybe you could tell us that story.

Yes, it was amazing because we haven’t done some tests on so twisty roads for such a long time and we didn’t know the amount of fuel. We put maximum fuel in the tank but it was not enough. It was ok, it was just one litre. We ran out of fuel on the road section about ten kilometres before the end of the road section and we changed pumps. We put pump number two. After that downhill we switch off the engine with just two or three hundred meters to go to the service place so it was nearly finish so we are lucky to be here.

Do you think there will be another rally this year when that same problem might happen again, maybe Australia for instance?

No, I don’t think so because the only reason here is because its very slow stages you are for very many kilometres in second or third gear and so I think it’s the only point this year where we’ll get this problem.

Wonderful. Daniel, thank you. Any questions from the floor? Hopefully this time, I didn’t have any at the pre-event press conference but a thrilling rally. Any questions? David Williams?

DW. I’ve got a question for Luis Moya. Before the rally of Argentina you were quite scathing about the inclusion of this rally in the world championship, now you’ve been here and one it, what’s your impression of it now you’ve seen it unfold?

Moya: “My opinion as you know, David, doesn’t change overnight and what I said in Argentina I still think the same thing now, there are countries which I think are very, very important for us with all the car manufacturers like the United States, Japan and Germany and that people that knows me have been saying that for about five years already and I think those are countries that we should push harder to go because in my dictionary the word impossible doesn’t exist, so I think it’s possible to go to these places, we have to try. About Cyprus Rally, it is a rally that is good for us and I think it’s a rally that of course can be in the championship but I think the rally should be in the championship even in front of some of the rallies we are doing now. That is my opinion.”

Thanks Luis. Any more questions from the floor? Any more? Greg Strange at the front.

GS. I’d just like to ask the drivers what their opinion of this rally has been and whether they were happy with the organization and so on.

Carlos do you want to lead the way?

Carlos: “Well, first of all I must say that before the rally that I said but it still doesn’t mean because I won I am happier which I think is important but when I came here I got little bit surprise because first of all we were welcome to a country, the place where the rally is held is I think like this hotel or the hotel where we are it is suits the standard that world championship rallies should have not like in China for example where I have cucarachas in my room, I don’t know the name –

It’s cockroaches!

So I have to call my wife to stop her coming there and I will bring my wife here very happy because it’s a nice place, nice beach and I think that is important to me, seeing my wife and the president of any big company you can bring him here. That is one important part. The other is the organisation, if it is safe or not. I am sure for the first time it is difficult for everyone to organize a world championship but at the end I think it wasn’t so bad, they had a few problems and a few things to improve but safety with their spectators was ok and that was very important thing in the modern rallies and basically the last three forest stages really, really slow, that’s the character of this rally. The same in Finland where it’s very fast or the same when we are driving in the snow or the tarmac or the broken gravel or in Kenya with five kilometres in a straight line and I think the good thing of rallying is you have so many different characters> From that point of view it’s just different. The rest you have to say how well it was organized from the outside. For me it was ok.

Maybe we could have one more comment. Does anyone on the top table have anything to say particularly about the inclusion of Cyprus? Nicky Grist?

Grist: No I think Carlos has said a lot I think in fairness what the organizers have done here in four months I think they have to be congratulated. I don’t think it was an easy job but they certainly came up trumps. Don’t get me wrong, there were some rough edges which I think in fairness most people would have expected but certainly it’s nothing they can’t overcome now they that have some more world championship experience. Next year I think it’s worthy of a place and I’m sure they’ll do a much better job. Thank you very much.

Thanks Nicky. One last question. Any more questions from the floor before we let them go off to jump in the pool or have a cold beer? Wonderful. Thank you very much indeed. Congratulations.


Press Office