COMMUNIQUE 4
Sunday 6 June Leg 5 - Oued Chebika / Agadir - 408 km SS 6 - 179 km / SS 7 - 60 km

STEPHANE PETERHANSEL WINS IN MOROCCO FOR MITSUBISHI MOTOR SPORTS
Mitsubishi’s Reigning World Champion Carlos Sousa third
Mayer claims 10th in first L200 outing

Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution / Montero Evolution
Stéphane Peterhansel / Jean-Paul Cottret
(Leg 5 - 6 June 2004)

The Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports crew of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret won the Rallye Orpi Maroc, the third round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, which finished in Agadir today. The French pair claimed victory by 23 minutes and 36 seconds over second-placed Jean-Louis Schlesser, with Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution team-mates Carlos Sousa/Henri Magne in third position. The German Mitsubishi L200 crew of Andrea Mayer/Andreas Schulz fought back to claim 10th position, Mayer successfully completing her first outing in the Pick-up. Peterhansel’s victory represents the Mitsubishi’s third successive victory this season (Dakar, Tunisia and Morocco).

Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution /
Montero Evolution

Carlos Sousa / Henri Magne
(Leg 5 - 6 June 2004)
"It was not easy, but I feel very satisfied with the team’s performance", said Sven Quandt, Head of Mitsubishi Motor Sports. "There were no major incidents and the cars performed very well. We know we have to work hard to keep the lead, but that is what we expect".

The 5th Rallye Orpi Maroc, running from June 1-6, included four non-GPS navigation stages and two bivouacs pitched by the sea, a first on a cross country rally. The event, which covered a total of five competitive sections, took in some of the series’ most varied and spectacular scenery as it snaked its way from Agadir on the Atlantic coast and criss-crossed the foothills of the Atlas Mountains before returning to the sand and giant ergs that separate the desert from the Ocean further south.

Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution driver Stéphane Peterhansel stamped his authority on the event from the outset, the Frenchman taking victory in the completely new opening 248 kilometer stage on Wednesday (June 2). Despite stopping at the assistance point to change two rear tires, the crew pulled out an early 8 minute and 14 second advantage over Kenjiro Shinozuka (Nissan). Third place in the second section - a massive 420 kilometer run between Assa and Smara in Southern Morocco - ensured Peterhansel maintained his advantage at the head of the leaderboard, while victory in one of the two sections run during leg three saw he and Jean-Paul Cottret extend their advantage to nearly 14 minutes over second-placed Jean-Louis Schlesser (Schlesser-Ford). Going into the final day of competition today, the French crew held a 26 minute and 30 second advantage and cruised through the two sections to take their second World Cup victory this year.

"This was a perfect race for me", said Peterhansel. "This is my fourth successive win and I feel very happy. Both Jean-Paul and I were confident this morning; we were relaxed and drove slowly to make sure we had no problems".

Mitsubishi L200
Andrea Mayer / Andreas Schulz
(Leg 5 - 6 June 2004)
Reigning FIA World Cup champions Carlos Sousa and Henri Magne were driving the Pajero/Montero Evolution for only the second time and claimed fourth position in the first stage, despite tire wear problems. Thursday’s second leg saw the Baja Portugal winners drop to fifth after stopping four times to change tires; the loss of nearly 30 minutes classifying them ninth in the section. Caution paid off for the pair in the third leg and although they had to stop and change a broken wheel, they nevertheless climbed up the leaderboard into third position while others struggled around them. They maintained position during the fourth and fifth legs for a satisfying third position overall.

"I lost time to Jutta on the first stage and needed to push a little in the second one today", said Sousa, who was challenged late on by Volkswagen’s Jutta Kleinschmidt. "It was a nice stage and I am pleased to finish third here. It was a challenging rally, but a podium place was my goal at the start".

German lady driver Andrea Mayer, who was competing in the Mitsubishi L200 Pick-up for the first time, lost over 40 minutes in leg one when a damaged rear suspension mounting bracket hampered her charge. She and Dakar-winning co-driver Andreas Schultz plummeted to 24th and attempted to recover the following day, and although a string of flat tires slowed them, they eventually climbed eight positions. In the third leg the pair powered to fifth fastest over the rocky terrain in the Sequiet El Hamra wadi but then lost more time in the second section of the leg when they got stuck in soft sand. In Saturday’s penultimate section, the pair was running as high as seventh but then lost places when they hit a stone, broke a rear wheel and lost around 40 minutes making repairs. Going into the final day of action in 11th, the German climbed one position to claim 10th overall.

The FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies resumes in July with the Baja España Aragón (July 22-25).


RALLIART CUSTOMER TEAMS FINISH GRUELING CHALLENGE

Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero
Dominique Housieaux / Loïc Fagot
(Leg 5 - 6 June 2004)
Dominique Housieaux/Loïc Fagot finished the Rallye Orpi Maroc in fifth position in their 3.5 liter, petrol-engined Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero. The pair dropped from eighth to 14th during the second leg when their Pajero/Montero lost a wheel just after the final passage control but they managed to climb into a fine fifth overall in leg three, despite a flat tire. Despite the Buggies having a speed and weight advantage, Housieaux managed to maintain his fifth position to the finish.

Spanish team-mates José-Luis Monterde and Rafael Tornabell, competing in a diesel-powered Pajero/Montero, hit problems early in the event and dropped time in the opening section with a broken brake caliper. In the second leg, the pair experienced rear suspension problems which dropped them to 28th position in the overall standings. By the end of leg three however they had climbed to 17th and a trouble-free day on Saturday resulted in a climb up the leaderboard to 14th, their finishing position.

FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION>> Go to stage times
  Driver / Co-driver Car Gr/Cl Time Diff.
1 Stéphane Peterhansel / Jean-Paul Cottret Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2.1.1 16.58.07   
2 Jean-Louis Schlesser / François Borsotto Schlesser-Ford Raid 2.2.1 17.21.43  + 23.36 
3 Carlos Sousa / Henri Magne Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2.1.1 17.50.07  + 52.00 
4 Jutta Kleinschmidt / Bob Willis Volkswagen Touareg 2.1.2 17.51.05  + 52.58 
5 Dominique Housieaux / Loïc Fagot Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 2.1.1 18.40.23  + 1.42.16 
6 Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei / Alain Guehennec BMW X5 2.1.2 19.00.00  + 2.01.53 
7 Jean-François Guinot / Manfred Kroiss Volkswagen Buggy 2.2.2 19.17.39  + 2.19.32 
8 Helder Oliveira / Maurizio Dominella Nissan Patrol GR 2.1.1 19.21.00  + 2.22.53 
9 Christian Lavieille / Philippe Rey Nissan Patrol 2.1.1 19.21.32  + 2.23.25 
10 Andrea Mayer / Andreas Schulz Mitsubishi L200 2.1.1 19.32.43  + 2.34.36 
.../...
14 José-Luis Monterde / Rafael Tornabel Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 2.1.2 20.49.29  + 3.51.22 
24 Abla Lassoued / Abdellatif Chedly Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 1.2 23.08.06  + 6.09.59 
31 Jérôme Hardy / Jean-Dominique Caszalot Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 1.2 27.48.28  + 10.50.21 

Times on SS 7<< Back to overall classification
  Driver / Co-driver Car Gr/Cl Time Diff.
=1 Jean-Louis Schlesser / François Borsotto Schlesser-Ford Raid 2.2.1 37.24   
=1 Philippe Gache / Jean-Pierre Garcin Buggy SMG-OR 01 2.2.1 37.24  + 0 
3 Carlos Sousa / Henri Magne Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2.1.1 37.32  + 8 
4 Jutta Kleinschmidt / Bob Willis Volkswagen Touareg 2.1.2 37.50  + 26 
5 Bruno Saby / Michel Perin Volkswagen Touareg 2.1.2 38.48  + 1.24 
6 Thierry Magnaldi /   Honda Civic 2.2.1 39.13  + 1.49 
7 Dominique Housieaux / Loïc Fagot Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 2.1.1 39.59  + 2.35 
8 Helder Oliveira / Maurizio Dominella Nissan Patrol GR 2.1.1 40.27  + 3.03 
9 Stéphane Peterhansel / Jean-Paul Cottret Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2.1.1 40.32  + 3.08 
10 Andrea Mayer / Andreas Schulz Mitsubishi L200 2.1.1 40.46  + 3.22 
.../...
22 José-Luis Monterde / Rafael Tornabel Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 2.1.2 43.16  + 5.52 
31 Jérôme Hardy / Jean-Dominique Caszalot Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 1.2 46.16  + 8.52 
38 Abla Lassoued / Abdellatif Chedly Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 1.2 50.56  + 13.32 

Times on SS 6<< Back to overall classification
  Driver / Co-driver Car Gr/Cl Time Diff.
1 Bruno Saby / Michel Perin Volkswagen Touareg 2.1.2 2.15.45   
2 Jutta Kleinschmidt / Bob Willis Volkswagen Touareg 2.1.2 2.21.22  + 5.37 
3 Stéphane Peterhansel / Jean-Paul Cottret Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2.1.1 2.22.14  + 6.29 
4 Jean-Louis Schlesser / François Borsotto Schlesser-Ford Raid 2.2.1 2.22.28  + 6.43 
5 Philippe Gache / Jean-Pierre Garcin Buggy SMG-OR 01 2.2.1 2.23.47  + 8.02 
6 Carlos Sousa / Henri Magne Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2.1.1 2.25.30  + 9.45 
7 Thierry Magnaldi /   Honda Civic 2.2.1 2.27.30  + 11.45 
8 Dominique Housieaux / Loïc Fagot Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 2.1.1 2.29.46  + 14.01 
9 Stéphane Henrard / Alain Low Volkswagen Buggy 2.2.2 2.31.04  + 15.19 
10 Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei / Alain Guehennec BMW X5 2.1.2 2.31.28  + 15.43 
.../...
15 Andrea Mayer / Andreas Schulz Mitsubishi L200 2.1.1 2.35.41  + 19.56 
18 José-Luis Monterde / Rafael Tornabel Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 2.1.2 2.39.38  + 23.53 
24 Abla Lassoued / Abdellatif Chedly Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 1.2 2.45.11  + 29.26 
38 Jérôme Hardy / Jean-Dominique Caszalot Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 1.2 3.10.20  + 54.35