2003 CCR


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COMMUNIQUE 2
20 July 2003 RACE 690.00 km
Baja España Aragón - 2003 FIA Cross Country Rally Championship / Round 5

SOUSA MAINTAINS WORLD CUP LEAD FOR MITSUBISHI
Mayer 11th and Monterde 12th for Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi L200 Strakar
Carlos Sousa / Henri Magne
(19 July 2003)
Mitsubishi L200 Strakar driver Carlos Sousa, co-driven by Henri Magne, has maintained his lead in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies after reaching the finish of Baja Spain in eighth position. The Portuguese driver overcame problems during the event, which finished in Zaragoza on Saturday (July 19), to claim a 10 point advantage over Frenchman Jean-Louis Schlesser after the fifth round of the series.


Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero
Luis Climent / Lucas Cruz Serna
(19 July 2003)
While the event was essentially a one-day affair, starting positions were determined during a short Prologue on Friday night. Weather conditions on Saturday, which topped 40 degrees Centigrade and an exhausting 70 degrees in-car, added to what was already an immense challenge as the crews faced a one-leg, 690 kilometer and nine hour stage, stopping only for fuel and vital repairs. Frenchman Luc Alphand, who claimed victory in the recent Baja Germany, led from start to finish, holding off a fierce challenge from BMW X5 team-mate Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei, who ultimately clinched an emphatic one-two for the manufacturer. Defending World Champion Jean-Louis Schlesser, who has slashed Sousa’s World Cup lead, finished third with Belgium’s Grégoire de Mevius just eight second adrift in BMW’s third entry, while Kenjiro Shinozuka’s return to the competition came to an early end when his Nissan Pick-up caught fire. The Japanese driver was third overall.

"I was actually disappointed with the way the race turned out for me and the team", said Sousa, who also leads the FIA Trophy for Drivers of Bajas after his recent victory in Greece. "But, I am still leading the World Cup. It started to go wrong right from the start; I got caught in the dust behind Grégoire de Mevius when he had a flat tire and drove slowly in front of me. That is the problem with this race; it is short and it’s very difficult to pass another car on the narrow tracks. Then I hit a rock. The damage wasn’t too bad and I limped to the first assistance point. One of the other competitors didn’t stop at the service and I got held up in the dust again. It was very frustrating.

"Then I collected a flat tire 20 kilometers from the next service point and had to stop and change it. I dropped around four minutes", added the Portuguese driver, whose L200 Strakar is supported by TMN and Galp. “When Henri and I changed the wheel we noticed there was a problem with the brakes and I arrived at the next service with zero brakes. It was impossible to push. I had brake trouble right to the end of the race. It was one of those weekends where we had little niggling problems, but I am delighted to still be leading the championship".


Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero
Andrea Mayer / Andreas Schulz
(19 July 2003)
Germany’s Andre Mayer, a member of Mitsubishi’s young driver programme, returned to the driving seat of her Dakar and Baja Italy T2 diesel-engined Pajero / Montero. She and co-driver Andreas Schulz finished 11th overall.

My number was 399, and by the time I started the Prologue the track was destroyed", she said. "I finished it in 16th position, but started 25th on the first stage. The dust was crazy; there were no chances to pass any cars and it was very tiring in the heat. Several of the top co-drivers were sick - it was much hotter than Morocco. When you drive for nine hours in one day it is exhausting, but I am pleased to finish 11th under the circumstances. It was a tough race. The track was very twisty and I needed to maintain my concentration".

She and Shultz finished six minutes ahead of Ralliart team-mates José-Luis Monterde and Rafael Tornabell in another Pajero / Montero, while the home-grown talent of Luis Climent and Lucas Cruz Serna brought their privately run Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero home ahead of both, claiming 10th in front of their Spanish fans.

In its bid to help Sousa become the first-ever Portuguese driver to win the FIA World Cup for Drivers, Mitsubishi has entered its leader in both the Rallye d’Orient in August, and the Por Las Pampas Rally in Argentina.

FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

  Driver / Co-driver Nat. Car Total Time Difference
 L. ALPHAND / A. DEBRON F  BMW X5 9.03.44   
 K. AL-MUTAIWEI / P. TIEFFENBACH UAE/D  BMW X5 9.14.52  + 11.08 
 J-L. SCHLESSER / J-D. COMOLLI F  SCHLESSER FORD 9.18.49  + 15.05 
 G. DE MEVIUS / A. GUEHENNEC B/F  BMW X5 9.18.57  + 15.13 
 M. TEMPESTINI / G. INNOCENTI I  NISSAN PICK UP 9.25.32  + 21.48 
 T. MAGNALDI / F. BORSOTTO F  HONDA HRV 9.32.09  + 28.25 
 Y. LOUBET / J. DUBOIS F  NISSAN PICK UP 9.35.27  + 31.43 
 C. SOUSA / H. MAGNE P/F  MITSUBISHI L200 STRAKAR 9.35.30  + 31.46 
 F. CAMPOS / A. CESAR P  TOYOTA RAV 4 9.38.33  + 34.49 
10   L. CLIMENT / L. CRUZ SERNA E  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 9.39.48  + 36.04 
11   A. MAYER / A. SCHULZ D  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 9.41.34  + 37.50 
12   J-L. MONTERDE / R. TORNABELL E  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 9.48.06  + 44.22 
13   P. MARTINS / A. MORAIS P  NISSAN NAVARRA 9.57.58  + 54.14 
14   P. GAMEIRO / N. SILVA P  NISSAN PATHFINDER 10.07.02  + 1.03.18 
15   R. DALMAU / E.OLLER E  LEDU CAR PROTO 10.13.55  + 1.10.11 
16   M. JORQUES GARCIA / S. SAFONT VIVAS E  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 10.14.38  + 1.10.54 
.../...
20   I. BRIL / A. TALMAN IL  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 10.29.32  + 1.25.48 
21   P. MORA / L. LATTANZI I  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 10.33.00  + 1.29.16 
23   R. LESMES SUAREZ / E. NAVAL PEREZ E  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 10.35.54  + 1.32.10 
26   M. PRIETO / A. ESCAMEZ E  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 10.43.21  + 1.39.37 
33   M. URKIOLA PENAGARICANO / S. BENITEZ E  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 11.03.22  + 1.59.38 
37   F. FLORES AMO / J-A. MORENO ALMEDO E  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 11.09.21  + 2.05.37 
44   J. LLOBET RODRIGUEZ / J. GALLIFA E  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 11.23.21  + 2.19.37 
46   M. BESOZZI I  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 11.31.05  + 2.27.21 
54   J-M. SAN JOSE MENENDEZ / M. ORMAZABAL GONDRA E  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 11.59.12  + 2.55.28 
57   F. REGALLI / M. ROSSO I  MITSUBISHI L200 STRAKAR 12.07.13  + 3.03.29 
59   W. WELS / B. RETHAMER D  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 12.07.58  + 3.04.14 
62   F. MOLINA DOMINGUEZ / J-I. MAYNAR BEAMONTE E  MITSUBISHI PAJERO / MONTERO 12.22.41  + 3.18.57 
Nationalities: B=Belgium/ D=Germany/ E=Spain/ F=France/ I=Italy/ IL=Israel/ P=Portugal/ UAE=United Arab Emirates/
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