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Simos Galatariotis came into the 2017 Cyprus Rally Championship as one of the main contenders after his strong performances over recent seasons. He finished fourth in 2015 and went one better in 2016, finishing third overall.

But this season, Galatariotis clinched the overall Cyprus Rally Championship title for the first time in his career. He was driving alongside Antonis Ioannou for just the second season, and his ŠKODA FABIA R5 was wearing the colours of the Petrolina - Eni Racing Team but was prepared by his own Galatariotis Rally Team.

Galatariotis actually started the season in a different car and only switched to a FABIA R5 for the final two rallies of the season.

Simos Galatariotis / Antonis Ioannou, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Petrolina - Eni Racing Team. Palm Trees Rally 2017

The Cypriot season started with the East Safari Rally in Paralimni and Galatariotis made a strong start to the campaign, finishing second overall behind his Petrolina - Eni Racing teammate Christos Demosthenous. Next up was the Tour of Cyprus, where Galatariotis secured his first victory of the season, finishing almost one and a half minute ahead of another Petrolina - Eni Racing teammates, Alexandros Tsouloftas.

Round 3 of the Cypriot championship was the Venus Rally, where Galatariotis and Tsouloftas exchanged places. This time it was Galatariotis who finished second behind his teammate. The action then moved onto the Cyprus Rally which was also part of the European Rally Championship (ERC) and the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) calendars. It was a hugely demanding, mixed surface event contested by many international rally stars. However, most of them struggled to cope with the conditions and Galatariotis put in a fine performance to finish second overall, with only former WRC2 champion Nasser Al-Attiyah finishing ahead of him. In both legs, which were the individual rounds of the Cypriot championship, he also secured vital points, finishing second in the national championship standings each day.

The penultimate round of the Cyprus Rally Championship was the Palm Trees Rally in Larnaca. It was here that Galatariotis drove a FABIA R5 for the first time. And he secured a convincing victory, finishing 56.4 seconds ahead of his closest challenger.

In early November, Galatariotis took part in a non-championship OFA Novice and Amazon Mini Rally where he finished in second place overall. That event served as a warm-up for the final round of the Cypriot championship, the Tiger Rally, which took place late in the year, in early December. That rally saw a fine battle between Galatariotis and rival Tsouloftas, who was also driving an R5 car. But when Tsouloftas was forced to retire after the penultimate stage, Galatariotis was left free to win the rally, by a comfortable margin of 2 minutes and 20 seconds ahead of Christos Demosthenous. And that result was enough for Simos Galatariotis to be crowned Cypriot rally champion for the very first time in his career.

Simos Galatariotis

Simos Galatariotis (born 1975) drove his first rally in 1997. He won the Cypriot championship in 2WD category and A6 class five times (2002-2006). In 2009, he switched to 4WD car, won two rallies and ended the season second in the championship standings. Two rally wins saw him finish second overall and first in Group N the following season, while he was third overall in the 2011 championship standings. After one win and a fourth place in 2015 championship final classification, there were three victories and another third place in the championship in 2016. But it was the 2017 season, when he really made a breakthrough, winning three rallies on his way to his maiden Cypriot rally title.

Basic Facts

Birthdate: 9. 10. 1975
Birthplace: Cyprus
Nationality: Cypriot
The biggest successes: 2017 Cypriot Rally Champion
First rally: ŠKODA Tour of Cyprus 1998

ŠKODA Champions 2017

Pontus Tidemand
WRC2

Gaurav Gill
APRC

Gustavo Saba
CODASUR & Paraguay

Manvir Baryan
Africa

Marijan Griebel
Europe (U28)

Jan Kopecký
Czech Republic

Kalle Rovanperä
Latvia

Roger Feghali
Lebanon

Hermen Kobus
Netherlands (ONRK)

Teemu Asunmaa
Finland

Filip Nivette
Poland

Vincent Verschueren
Belgium

Norbert Herczig
Hungary

Socratis Tsolakidis
Greece

Burak Çukurova
Turkey

Fabian Kreim
Germany

Simos Galatariotis
Cyprus