2003 WRC

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27 July 2003 LEG 3 - Trier - Trier (557.83 km) Special Stages 17 - 22 (101.54 km)
ADAC Rallye Deutschland - 2003 FIA World Rally Championship / Round 8
2003 FIA Production Car World Rally Championship / Round 5

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC2
K. Sohlberg / J. Honkkanen
(Leg 3 - 27 July 2003)
The Mitsubishi Motor Sports crew of Kristian Sohlberg and Jakke Honkanen successfully completed the 2003 Rallye Deutschland, reaching the finish in Trier in 14th position in their Lancer Evolution WRC this afternoon. The Finnish pair’s objective was to gain experience on asphalt, however they still managed to finish ahead of seven other world rally car drivers in their first asphalt outing in such powerful machinery.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
D. Solà / A. Romani
(Leg 3 - 27 July 2003)

"It’s been really good experience and I’m glad to have finished", commented Sohlberg. "It seemed like madness driving in the rain sometimes!"

Adding to his comments, Mitsubishi Motor Sports team manager Derek Dauncey said: "It was good to put both drivers out and get some experience of Tarmac. Kristian’s driven a good event in far from ideal conditions and has given us good feedback. It was unfortunate about Jani Paasonen’s accident, but he and Arto Kapanen are now out of hospital and flying back to Finland".

In the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution driver Daniel Solà took outright honors. The Spaniard led the category from start to finish, winning 10 of the 22 special stages to claim maximum points. Mitsubishi drivers also claimed six of the leading nine positions.

The final leg of Rallye Deutschland returned to the Mosel Valley and the countryside around Saarland for the concluding six stages and 101.54 competitive kilometers, the shortest leg of the rally. The route took in two loops of three stages but proved to be no easy cruise to the finish. While the weather remained dry during the first two stages, torrential rain then fell for the rest of the afternoon, making conditions doubly tricky for the remaining 56 crews who left Trier early this morning.

Daniel Sola admitted that he had little chance to relax thanks to the rain, but the reigning Junior World Rally Champion drove superbly to clinch his first Production Car World Rally Championship event success by a clear margin of 4 minutes 32 seconds in his Lancer Evolution.

"We have had a few scares today with the weather, but the car has performed very well indeed and the rally has gone to plan", commented Sola, who won just one of today’s six stages. "I am really happy with this result".

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
J. Kulig / M. Szczepaniak
(Leg 3 - 27 July 2003)

Pole Janusz Kulig had never driven a production car on asphalt before, but survived both the weather and a puncture to take a fine third in the class, one of his best results of the season. Kulig claimed two stage victories today, finishing behind Subaru’s Martin Rowe but ahead of reigning Production Car Champion and Proton driver Karamjit Singh.

"In some ways the last day has been a cruise, but because of the weather you had to pay attention all the time", said Janusz. "It’s been a very satisfying result after some bad luck earlier this year".

Sixth position in the production class was claimed by Mexican Ricardo Triviño, while seventh, eighth and ninth were filled by Titi Aur, Stefano Marrini and Riccardo Errani respectively, all driving Lancer Evolutions.

The FIA Production Car World Rally Championship contenders now take a break before their penultimate round in the series on the other side of the world. Rally Australia (September 3-7) is yet another tricky event with unique ball-bearing shaped gravel and narrow tree-lined roads that require inch-perfect precision.


  Driver / Co-driver Nat. Car Total Time Difference
 Daniel Solà* / Alex Roman E  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution   
 Martin Rowe* / Trevor Agnew GB  Subaru Impreza  + 4.32.9 
 Janusz Kulig* / Maciej Szczepaniak PL  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution  + 6.47.4 
 Karamjit Singh* / Allen Oh MAL  Proton Pert  + 9.07.6 
 Stig Blomqvist* / Ana Goni S/YV  Subaru Impreza  + 11.37.4 
 Horacio Franco / Tiago Azevedo P  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution  + 16.54.3 
 Chris van Woensel / Rik Snaet B  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution  + 17.09.3 
 Michal Solowow / Maciek Baran PL  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution  + 19.09.9 
 Ricardo Triviño* / Jordi Barrabes MEX/E  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution  + 19.32.3 
10   Saulius Girdauskas / Audrius Shoshas LT  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution  + 20.36.6 
11   Titi Aur* / Adrian Berghea RO  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution  + 25.38.0 
12   Dark Liebehenschel / Daniela Busch D  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution  + 27.22.0 
13   Stefano Marrini* / Massimo Agostinelli I  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution  + 30.48.5 
14   Riccardo Errani* / Stefano Casadio I  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution  + 30.48.9 
17   Yves Peeters / Thierry Lefin B  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution  + 42.57.1 
* Drivers eligible for FIA Production Car World Championship points
B=Belgium/ D=Germany/ E=Spain/ GB=Great Britain/ I=Italy/ LT=Lithuania/ MAL=Malaysia/ MEX=Mexico/ P=Portugal/ PL=Poland/ RO=Roumania/ S=Sweden/ YV=Venezuela/


  Driver / Co-driver Nat. Car Total Time Difference
 Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena F/MC  Citroën Xsara WRC   
 Marcus Grönholm / Timo Rautiainen FIN  Peugeot 206 WRC  + 3.6 
 Richard Burns / Robert Reid GB  Peugeot 206 WRC  + 19.7 
 Colin McRae / Derek Ringer GB  Citroën Xsara WRC  + 31.4 
 Markko Märtin / Michael Park EE/GB  Ford Focus RS WRC 03  + 57.9 
 Carlos Sainz / Marc Marti E  Citroën Xsara WRC  + 1.38.6 
 François Duval / Stéphane Prevot B  Ford Focus RS WRC 03  + 1.48.1 
 Petter Solberg / Phil Mills N/GB  Subaru Impreza WRC 2003  + 2.30.2 
 Cédric Robert / Gérald Bedon F  Peugeot 206 WRC  + 3.12.8 
10   Gilles Panizzi / Herv Panizzi F  Peugeot 206 WRC  + 3.39.6 
11   Freddy Loix / Sven Smeets B  Hyundai Accent WRC³  + 4.55.6 
12   Armin Schwarz / Manfred Hiemer D  Hyundai Accent WRC³  + 7.15.2 
13   Mikko Hirvonen / Jarmo Lehtinen FIN  Ford Focus RS WRC 02  + 7.34.3 
14   Kristian Sohlberg / Jakke Honkanen FIN  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution WRC2  + 11.49.4 
15   Mathias Kahle / Peter Göbel D  Škoda Octavia WRC Evo.3  + 12.31.9 
16   Pieter Tsjoen / Eddy Chevallier B  Toyota Corolla WRC  + 14.52.7 
17   Jari-Matti Latvala / Mikka Anttila FIN  Ford Focus RS WRC 02  + 14.58.6 
18   Manfred Stohl / Ilka Minor A  Hyundai Accent WRC³  + 16.07.9 
19   Antony Warmbold / Gemma Price D/GB  Ford Focus RS WRC 02  + 20.18.3 
20   Jan Kopecky / Filip Schovanek CZ  Škoda Octavia WRC Evo.3  + 23.54.4 
A=Austria/ B=Belgium/ CZ=Czech Republic/ D=Germany/ E=Spain/ EE=Estonia/ F=France/ FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ MC=Monte Carlo/ N=Norway/