COMMUNIQUE 5
8 August 2004 Leg 3 Release

MITSUBISHI LANCER WRC04 SHOWS SPEED & POTENTIAL IN FINLAND
Panizzi scores points for Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04
Gilles Panizzi / Hervé Panizzi
(Leg 3 - 8 August 2004)

The Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04 crew of Gilles and Hervé Panizzi scored manufacturer points for Mitsubishi in Rally Finland, the ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. The French crew arrived at the finish in 11th position, sixth of the nominated crews. Team-mates Kristian Sohlberg and Kaj Lindström may have retired during the second leg, however the Finns demonstrated the Lancer WRC04s potential as they traded split times with the leading crews in one of the fastest and most spectacular events of the 16-round series.

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04
Gilles Panizzi / Hervé Panizzi
(Leg 3 - 8 August 2004)
"This is the first rally that neither car has had major problems, demonstrating that just over half-way through the season we are slowly getting the reliability", commented Sven Quandt, Head of Mitsubishi Motorsport. "Kristian performed very well and even though he was forced out, he showed the car is capable of being fast. It will now be interesting to see what happens in Germany, our first full Tarmac round".

Just 41 of the original 68 crews started the final leg this morning, five of whom were running under SUPERally regulations and therefore not eligible to appear in the overall classification. Overcast skies underlined an earlier forecast of rain, however as the morning progressed, cloud gave way to blue skies and the crews enjoyed another almost perfect day of world-class motorsport. The leg took in two loops of two stages to the west of the university town of Jyväskylä and with 95.26 competitive kilometers to complete, it was no easy cruise to the finish.

Gilles and Hervé Panizzi maintained their 11th position throughout the leg, the French pair focused on trying different set-ups as they and the team continue to learn more about the Lancer WRC04.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
Gianluigi Galli / Guido D’Amore
(Leg 3 - 8 August 2004)
"We have run different shock absorber settings today and tried various things, purely to understand what happens under different conditions", commented Gilles. "Overall I am happy after this rally, especially as I made no mistakes. The team has worked very well and I am pleased for the engineers. The reliability has been good, we’ve all learned more and we have the car at the finish in the points".

Mitsubishi driver "Gigi" Galli scored an emphatic victory in the Group N category, the Italian winning by an impressive margin of 4 minutes 19 seconds in his privately-run Lancer Evolution.

The FIA World Rally Championship now heads back to central Europe for the 10th round of the series, Rallye Deutschland (August 19-22). This is the first full asphalt round of the season and Gilles and Hervé will be joined by "Dani" Solà and Xavier Amigo in what is viewed as a tricky and challenging sealed surface event. Solà does however appear to have the measure of the German roads, the Spaniard having won the Junior and Production Car categories in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

News from our rivals...

Marcus Grönholm won Rally Finland for the fourth time and in doing so rewarded Peugeot with the 307 WRCs first victory. The Finn was largely unchallenged today and arrived back in Jyväskylä 34.7 seconds ahead of last year’s winner, Markko Martin. Carlos Sainz and Sébastien Loeb finished third and fourth respectively, achieving Citroën’s objective of collecting valuable manufacturer points to add to its already impressive tally. Their points haul ensures the team remains in the lead of the Manufacturers’ Championship, while Loeb’s five points extend his advantage in the Drivers’ series once again. Ford’s second nominated driver Janne Tuohino fulfilled his role by scoring points for the team, although the Finn seemingly lost the pace yesterday and today. He finished fifth ahead of Škoda driver Jani Paasonen.

FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

  Driver / Co-driver Nat. Car Gr/Cl Total Time Difference
 Marcus Grönholm M / Timo Rautiainen FIN  Peugeot 307 WRC A/8 3.07.16.1   
 Markko Märtin M / Michael Park EE/GB  Ford Focus RS WRC 04 A/8 3.07.50.8  + 34.7 
 Carlos Sainz M / Marc Marti E  Citroën Xsara WRC A/8 3.09.00.6  + 1.44.5 
 Sébastien Loeb M / Daniel Elena F/MC  Citroën Xsara WRC A/8 3.09.39.4  + 2.23.3 
 Janne Tuohino M / Jukka Aho FIN  Ford Focus RS WRC 04 A/8 3.09.52.8  + 2.36.7 
 Jani Paasonen / Jani Vainikka FIN  Škoda Fabia WRC A/8 3.11.52.3  + 4.36.2 
 François Duval / Stéphane Prevot B  Ford Focus RS WRC 04 A/8 3.13.07.1  + 5.51.0 
 Toni Gardemeister / Paavo Lukander FIN  Škoda Fabia WRC A/8 3.13.19.3  + 6.03.2 
 Daniel Carlsson / Mattias Andersson S  Peugeot 206 WRC A/8 3.13.57.2  + 6.41.1 
10   Henning Solberg / Cato Menkerud N  Peugeot 206 WRC A/8 3.14.20.7  + 7.04.6 
11   Gilles Panizzi M / Hervé Panizzi F  Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04 A/8 3.14.49.1  + 7.33.0 
12   Armin Schwarz / Manfred Hiemer D  Škoda Fabia WRC A/8 3.19.14.4  + 11.58.3 
13   Jari Viita / Timo Hantunen FIN  Ford Focus RS WRC 03 A/8 3.26.32.0  + 19.15.9 
14   Gianluigi Galli / Guido D’Amore I  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3.26.54.7  + 19.38.6 
15   Alistair Ginley / Rory Kennedy GB/IRL  Subaru Impreza WRC 03 A/8 3.27.20.4  + 20.04.3 
16   Per-Gunnar Andersson J / Jonas Andersson S  Suzuki Ignis A/6 3.29.11.6  + 21.55.5 
17   Kosti Katajamäki J / Timo Alanne FIN  Suzuki Ignis A/6 3.29.24.9  + 22.08.8 
18   Kaj Kuistila / Kari Jokinen FIN  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3.31.13.7  + 23.57.6 
19   Nicolas Bernardi J / Jean-Marc Fortin F/B  Renault Clio A/6 3.32.17.3  + 25.01.2 
20   Mirco Baldacci J / Giovanni Bernacchini RSM/I  Suzuki Ignis A/6 3.32.28.6  + 25.12.5 
21   Juha Vuorela / Arto Kapanen FIN  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3.33.52.8  + 26.36.7 
.../...
25   Juha Sipilä / Juha Koljonen FIN  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3.37.08.2  + 29.52.1 
27   Alexandre Dorossinski / Aleksander Kornilov RUS  Subaru Impreza N/4 3.40.52.4  + 33.36.3 
30   Thomas Alsgaard / Kjell Pettersen N  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3.43.29.9  + 36.13.8 
Nationalities: B=Belgium/ D=Germany/ E=Spain/ EE=Estonia/ F=France/ FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ I=Italy/ IRL=Ireland/ MC=Monte Carlo/ N=Norway/ RSM=San Marino/ RUS=Russia/ S=Sweden/
Names underlined followed by M indicate drivers nominated in the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers
Names followed by J indicate drivers eligible for FIA Junior World Rally Championship points