27 June 2004

Sousa holds clear lead in FIA European Baja Cup for Drivers
Second place for Frenchman Luc Alphand

Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution / Montero Evolution
Carlos Sousa / Henri Magne
(Podium - 27 June 2004)

Defending FIA World Cup champion Carlos Sousa and his Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne clinched victory in the 3rd Monte Pennino Cross-Country Rally, the second round of the 2004 FIA European Baja Cup for Drivers, in Perugia today (Sunday).

Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution /
Montero Evolution

Carlos Sousa / Henri Magne
(27 June 2004)
Sousa won the first of three timed 61.07 kms selective sections on Saturday and was never headed from then on. He began the final section on Sunday with a 4m 31s advantage and carefully steered his Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports-prepared Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution to an eventual winning margin of 3m 11s over runner-up Luc Alphand in a BMW X5 Rally-Raid.

The Portuguese driver has now taken maximum points in this year’s FIA European Baja Cup for Drivers by winning the opening two rounds in Portugal and Italy.

Frenchman Alphand lost over six minutes to his rival on the opening stage on Saturday after being involved in a freak collision with a non-competing car. Despite beating Sousa by a slender margin on the subsequent five selective sections in the Antria and Acquabianca area between Florence and Rome, he was forced to settle for second position.

"After what happened to Luc on the first stage there was no need for me to push hard", said Sousa. "I had a big advantage and I just had to ensure that we stayed away from trouble, drove at a sensible pace and had no problems with the car".

"I started the last stage with a 4m 31s lead and I just had to keep my concentration. I am delighted to win here and I can look forward to the next event with renewed confidence".

Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution /
Montero Evolution

Carlos Sousa / Henri Magne
(27 June 2004)
Italy’s Marco Tempestini finished third in a Nissan Pathfinder and Riccardo Colombo was fourth overall in a Nissan Pick-Up.

"I am delighted for Carlos that he has won his second successive Baja race", said MMSP’s Team Director Dominique Serieys. "He had minor brake problems and we will work on improving air cooling for the brakes before the next event in Spain. The important thing for Carlos was to gain as much experience as possible".

The 3rd Monte Pennino event was based around the Autodromo Magione, near Perugia, and ran over a two-day route totalling 691.71 km. There were four planned selective sections over a 61.07 km stage in a rural hilly region on Saturday, although the fourth stage was cancelled, and a further three selectives along a 54.10 km track between Magione and Piazza Matteotti on Sunday.

Sousa, co-driver Magne and the Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports Team’s next challenge in this year’s FIA European Baja Cup for Drivers will be the Baja Spain in Zaragoza on July 17-18th. The Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports Team, meanwhile, is carrying out a detailed test and development program in Morocco until July 4th.


  Driver Co-driver Nat. Car Total Time Diff.
 Carlos Sousa  Henri Magne P/F  Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 4:54.32   
 Luc Alphand  Philip Tiefenbach F/D  BMW X5 4:57.43  3.11 
 M. Tempestini  G. Innocenti I  Nissan Pathfinder R50 5:04.37  10.05 
 R. Colombo  S. Fabiano I  Nissan Pick-Up 5:05.14  10.42 
 L. Codecà  F. Ferro I  Mitsubishi Pajero EVO 5:13.38  19.06 
 R. Ciampolini  M. Catarsi I  Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 5:18.42  24.1 
 M. Ricci  S. Fattori I  Nissan Patrol GR 5:22.07  27.35 
 P. Larini  P. Musacchia I  Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 5:22.37  28.05 
 A. Lolli  G. Valentini I  Suzuki Jimny 2.0 5:26.33  32.01 
10   R. Garosci  R. Briani I  Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 5:32.06  37.34 
11   M. Abini  R. Briani I  Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 5:32.35  38.03 
12   P. Mora  L. Lattanzi I  Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 5:33.51  39.19 
13   E. Zeraschi  G. Tognarini I  Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 5:36.17  41.45 
14   M. Cantù  P. Paolini I  Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 5:40.34  46.02 
Nationalities: D=Germany / F=France / I=Italy / P=Portugal /