COMMUNIQUE 5
16 May 2004 - Updated 26 May 2004 Leg 3 Release

MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVER WINS GROUP N

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
Prodromos Prodromou / "Rockys"
(Leg 3 - 16 May 2004)

Cypriot Lancer Evolution driver Prodromos Prodromou won the highly-competitive Group N category in the Cyprus Rally, the fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. The event, which finished in the coastal resort of Limassol this afternoon, was neither a qualifying round of the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship or FIA Junior World Rally Championship, however a host of Group N crews fought for category honors over the rough and rocky mountain roads.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. A
Andreas Tsouloftas / Sawas Laos
(Leg 3 - 16 May 2004)
"I cannot believe we have taken victory as we finished second after the last stage!" said Prodromou. "Then we saw Armeftis on the road section but we didn’t realize his problems were terminal; we now feel very sorry for him. This is a fantastic result for us though and it was a very good event".

Lancer Evolution driver Chris Armeftis was set to win the category, but the local man was forced into a disappointing retirement on the final road section with differential problems. Andreas Tsouloftas piloted his Group A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution to the finish, just outside the top ten. The local driver judged the conditions perfectly and was the first non-regular World Championship contender to cross the finish ramp in 11th. "I have been driving Mitsubishis for the past ten years and will continue to rally them until I retire!" stated Tsouloftas.

Just 24 of the original 38 contenders started the final leg early this morning and the route took the crews to the north and northeast of Limassol for two loops of three stages. Despite being the shortest leg of the event, 95.34 competitive kilometers lay in wait and few crews will have been confident of reaching the finish without hitting problems on what are considered to be the roughest gravel roads in the series. Harri Rovanperä experienced more gearbox problems and Markko Märtin had a late scare after losing gearbox oil in the closing stages. Both made it to the finish in points-scoring positions however and just 22 contenders completed the route.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
Prodromos Prodromou / "Rockys"
(Leg 3 - 16 May 2004)
Marcus Grönholm ultimately won the Cyprus Rally, his first victory since Argentina 2003 and the maiden win for the Peugeot 307 WRC. But, following a meeting of the Stewards of the Cyprus Rally on May 26, 2004, the water pumps fitted to the works Peugeots of Marcus Grönholm and Harri Rovanperä were not found to be in conformity with the Technical Regulations. The Stewards decided to exclude both cars from the results of the 2004 Cyprus Rally. Sébastien Loeb has therefore been awarded the victory and regains the lead in the series by just one point over Markko Märtin.

The sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship takes the contenders across the Mediterranean sea to Greece for the Acropolis Rally (June 3-6). It is renowned as another of the roughest gravel events and temperatures are expected to be even higher during one of the oldest events in the series. Spaniard "Dani" Solà will be piloting the second Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04 alongside team-mate Gilles Panizzi, and the event is also a qualifying round of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship.

FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Note: Following a meeting of the Stewards of the Cyprus Rally on May 26, 2004, the water pumps fitted to the works Peugeots of Marcus Grönholm and Harri Rovanperä were not found to be in conformity with the Technical Regulations. The Stewards decided to exclude both cars from the results of the 2004 Cyprus Rally. Sébastien Loeb has therefore been awarded the victory
  Driver / Co-driver Nat. Car Gr/Cl Total Time Difference
 Sébastien Loeb M / Daniel Elena F/MC  Citroën Xsara WRC A/8 4.59.38.5   
 Markko Märtin M / Michael Park EE/GB  Ford Focus RS WRC 04 A/8 4.59.53.6  + 15.1 
 Carlos Sainz M / Marc Marti E  Citroën Xsara WRC A/8 5.02.02.5  + 2.24.0 
 Petter Solberg M / Phil Mills N/GB  Subaru Impreza WRC 04 A/8 5.09.07.6  + 9.29.1 
 Mikko Hirvonen M / Jarmo Lehtinen FIN  Subaru Impreza WRC 04 A/8 5.09.19.4  + 9.40.9 
 Janne Tuohino / Jukka Aho FIN  Ford Focus RS WRC 02 A/8 5.12.55.2  + 13.16.7 
 Alistair Ginley / Rory Kennedy GB/IRL  Subaru Impreza WRC 03 A/8 5.26.22.3  + 26.43.8 
 Miguel Campos / Nuno Silva P  Peugeot 206 WRC A/8 5.38.40.7  + 39.02.2 
 Andreas Tsouloftas / Sawas Laos CY  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution A/8 5.40.22.8  + 40.44.3 
10   Kikis Koutsakos / Pambos Laos CY  Peugeot 306 GT A/7 6.09.59.6  + 1.10.21.1 
11   Prodromos Prodromou / "Rockys" CY  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 6.15.31.1  + 1.15.52.6 
12   Nikos Nikolaou / Kyprianos Damianou CY  Subaru Impreza N/4 6.15.47.8  + 1.16.09.3 
.../...
14   Vladimir Palko / Robert Muller SK  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 6.24.05.4  + 1.24.26.9 
Nationalities: CY=Cyprus/ E=Spain/ EE=Estonia/ F=France/ FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ IRL=Ireland/ MC=Monte Carlo/ N=Norway/ P=Portugal/ SK=Slovak Republic/
Names underlined followed by M indicate drivers nominated in the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers