Baja España Aragón / FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas - Round 3 of 6
22 - 24 July 2005

ROMA CLAIMS FIRST VICTORY WITH MITSUBISHI
Joan ’Nani’ Roma wins Baja España in Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero Evolution
Peterhansel claims 1-2 for Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero Evolution
Joan Roma / Henri Magne

The Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero Evolution crew of Joan ’Nani’ Roma and Henri Magne claimed their first victory together in a car in this weekend’s 12th Baja España Aragón. For Roma - who has won the Dakar Rally and claimed four wins on his home Baja on a motorcycle - it represents the first win on four wheels. Team-mates Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret finished hot on his heels in second position, while Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard were forced to retire the Mitsubishi Motors Repsol Team’s third Pajero / Montero Evolution after rolling on Saturday.

Mitsubishi Pajero /
Montero Evolution

Joan Roma / Henri Magne
"Now we have four potential winners of the Dakar Rally", said President of Mitsubishi Motor Sports, Isao Torii, including Hiroshi Masuoka in his thoughts. "Congratulations to the team; they all did a great job. We showed here that we are making good progress. We are confident of achieving our goal of winning the Dakar again in January".

The 12th Baja España Aragón, the third round of the FIA International Cup for Cross Country Bajas, was hosted in Zaragoza, 350 kilometers northwest of Barcelona. The rally, in which bikes and trucks also participated in parallel events, was held in scorching mid-summer temperatures, adding to the challenge already posed by the fast and narrow tracks running through barren desert terrain.

The opening leg of the event on Friday July 22nd included one short 4.5 kilometer super special stage in Huesca, 70 kilometers from Zaragoza. Peterhansel claimed stage honors for Mitsubishi, posting a time nearly six seconds faster than team-mate and Rally Tunisia winner Luc Alphand. After stalling near the start of the dry and twisty stage, where hundreds of fans packed to watch the action, Roma held fourth in the MPR10 version of the Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero Evolution.

In the second leg, however, Roma came into his own, growing in confidence in the Pajero / Montero Evolution after only joining the team at the end of last year. The Spaniard, co-driven by Andorran-based Frenchman Henri Magne, was second fastest through the first of two identical 242.12 competitive kilometer stages but, during the afternoon’s stage, he set fastest time to claim the outright lead after nearly 500 kilometers of competition.

In Sunday’s final leg Roma fended off a charging Peterhansel to claim his first-ever victory in a car and his fifth overall win on his home event.

"It’s a fantastic feeling to win my first race in a car here in Spain", said a delighted Roma in front of thousands of fans. "I didn’t dream that my first win would come just nine months after joining the team".

Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero Evolution
Stéphane Peterhansel / Jean-Paul Cottret
After winning the opening super special stage, Peterhansel led the crews into Saturday’s first stage but was slowed with persistent brake problems. However, despite having to slow the Pajero / Montero Evolution using the engine and gearbox, he held a 19 second advantage going into the afternoon’s repeated stage. However, the same problems continued and Peterhansel - competing on the Baja España Aragón for the first time in 20 years - finished the leg in second position with a real task ahead if he had any chance of overhauling Roma. It was not to be and the double Dakar Rally winner retained his position at the finish.

Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard, driving the team’s third Pajero / Montero Evolution, finished second in the super special stage on Friday but were forced to retire on Saturday. The Tunisia Rally winners were just 15 seconds behind Peterhansel nearly 60 kilometers into the stage but within another 40 kilometers they rolled, causing too much damage to continue.

"It was a first gear, slow left-hand hairpin and I was too close to the inside of the corner", said Luc. "There was a large stone on the inside, we hit it and went over on Gilles’ side".

The next round of the FIA International Cup for Cross Country Bajas should have taken the crews to Greece for the Baja Ekali 4X4 Club event (September 1-4), however the rally has been canceled and the next round is not until October (Baja Anta da Serra 500 Portalegre).

FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

  Driver / Co-driver Nat. Car Gr.
Cl.
Total Time Difference
 Joan Roma / Henri MagneE/F Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero EvolutionT1.17:44:08   
 Stéphane Peterhansel / Jean-Paul CottretF Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero EvolutionT1.17:45:18 1:10 
 Marc Blazquez / Ignacio SalvadorE Nissan Pick Up D22T1.17:51:31 7:23 
 Joao Ramos / Victor JesusP Toyota RAV 4T1.28:13:31 29:23 
 Luis Costa / Carlos CostaP Toyota Land CruiserT1.28:14:59 30:51 
 Nuno P. Inocencio / Nuno BarreirosP Mitsubishi Pajero / MonteroT1.28:15:50 31:42 
 Carlos Sole / Lucas S. CruzE BMW X5T1.18:17:18 33:10 
 Pedro Gameiro / Felipe PalmiroP Toyota Land CruiserT1.18:37:10 53:02 
 Pietro Larini / Pietro MussachiaI Mitsubishi Pajero / MonteroT1.18:38:06 53:58 
10  Maurizio Traglio / Giuliano AiroldiI Nissan PathfinderT1.18:42:08 58:00 
11  Jose A. Villalba / Jose M. GarciaE Mercedes Benz MLT1.18:53:37 1:09:29 
12  Jordi Gaig / Miquel AmblasE BMW X5T1.18:55:21 1:11:13 
13  Bernard Errandonea / Patrick IgoaF SMG BuggyT1.2R8:59:12 1:17:04 
14  Justo Olmeda / Jose Miguel OlmedaE Mitsubishi Pajero / MonteroT2.29:05:36 1:21:28 
15  Alexandre Re / Paulo MarquesP Nissan Pick Up D22T1.29:06:18 1:22:10 
16  Francisco M. Esperto / Filipe FernandesP Nissan Pick Up 4x4T1.29:07:26 1:23:18 
17  Ramon Vila / Bernat CreixamsE Nissan Pick UpT1.29:09:30 1:25:22 
18  Francesctermens / Jordi VilaltaE Nissan Pick UpT1.29:11:10 1:27:02 
19  Andreu Gonzalez / Janina GonzalezE Mitsubishi Pajero / MonteroT2.29:12:06 1:27:58 
20  Roberto Ruini / Emanuele RavazziniI Nissan Patrol GRT1.19:14:51 1:30:43 
21  Miguel A. Urkiola / Samuel BenitezE Mitsubishi Pajero / MonteroT2.19:19:51 1:35:43 
22  Rafael Feu / Eduardo BlancoE Nissan Pick Up 2.5T1.29:21:34 1:37:26 
23  Xavier Blanco / Albert BlancoE Nissan Pick UpT1.29:25:59 1:41:51 
24  Paulo Martins / Joao GloriaP Nissan Pick Up NavaraT1.29:26:17 1:42:09 
25  Marino San Jose / Pepe RoyoE Nissan Pick UpT1.29:26:19 1:42:11 
26  Riccardo Garosci / Roberto BrianiI Mitsubishi Pajero / MonteroT2.29:26:37 1:42:29 
27  Jose A. Zorrilla / Johan SaenzE Nissan Navara 2.5T1.29:26:53 1:42:45 
28  Carlos Merino / Jose A. GuardingoE Nissan Pick Up NavaraT1.29:27:02 1:42:54 
29  Madalena Cupertino / Jean-Michel PolatoP/F Nissan Patrol GRT1.19:28:37 1:44:29 
30  Josep Bertran / Alex MedinaE Mitsubishi Pajero / MonteroT1.19:30:10 1:46:02 
31  Guillaume Meura / Carlota GarciaE Nissan Pick UpT1.29:30:53 1:46:45 
32  Pablo Rodriguez / Angel IribarrenE Nissan Pick Up D 22T1.29:31:19 1:47:11 
33  Rafael Lesmes / Moises GonzalezE Nissan Pick UpT1.29:34:25 1:50:17 
34  Antonio Segura / Victor SeguraE Nissan Pick Up NavaraT1.29:37:31 1:53:23 
35  Fernando Gimenez / Eduardo IzquierdoE Nissan Pick Up D22T1.29:38:02 1:53:54 
36  Jose Camilo / Afonso BatistaP Nissan NavaraT1.29:43:01 1:58:53 
37  Alexandra Gameiro / Jaime JoseP Nissan PathfinderT2.19:47:20 2:03:12 
38  Albert Bosch / Jordi MunellE Toyota Land CruiserT2.29:52:13 2:08:05 
39  Joseph Adua / Patrick AntonnioliF Ipso Proto 95T1.19:59:48 2:15:40 
40  Jose Ma Garrofe / Rosendo TouriñaneE Nissan Pick Up NavaraT1.210:03:35 2:19:27 
41  Beatriz Garcia / Julia GarciaE Mitsubishi Pajero / MonteroT2.110:10:46 2:26:38 
42  Emilio Erioa / Alfonso EiroaE Mitsubishi Pajero / MonteroT2.110:11:55 2:27:47