COMMUNIQUE 5
30 October 2005 LEG 3 RELEASE

ONE FASTEST TIME FOR LANCER WRC05 UNDERLINES POTENTIAL
Rovanperä 10th and 5th of registered crews in Spain

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
Harri Rovanperä / Risto Pietiläinen
FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

The Mitsubishi Motorsport crew of Harri Rovanperä and Risto Pietiläinen finished Rally Catalunya, the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship, fifth of the registered contenders and 10th overall. Team-mates Gigi Galli and Guido d’Amore were forced out yesterday but a fastest stage time underlined the progress and potential of the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 on asphalt.

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
Harri Rovanperä / Risto Pietiläinen
Today’s third leg was by far the shortest and took in just 68.08 competitive kilometers over three stages to the north and west of the coastal resort of Salou.

Harri Rovanperä continued to experiment with different setting on the Lancer WRC05, enabling the engineers to analyze data for further improvements in the future.

"Okay, we have found some different information this weekend, but it has been a difficult rally for us", said Harri at the finish. "It was a nice event though, with good stages and lots of spectators. It was hard for us to do too much here, but Gigi showed there is good potential. We also brought the car to the finish and that always means you collect more data and experience".

Adding to his comments, Roger Estrada, Principal Rally Engineer, said: "The rally was not so easy for us, but better than Corsica last week. We had issues with Harri’s car which meant a loss of time in the opening leg, but we made a good step forward on performance and reliability, as proved by Gigi, and we must look ahead to the future".

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
Albert Orriols / Enric Massó
Isao Torii, Head of Mitsubishi Motorsport, said: "After Corsica it was a difficult time, but our team did a good job and found solutions. Gigi showed the car’s speed, which is motivating for the whole team even though he retired. It gives us good hope for the future that he can show us this speed, but he needs to keep gaining experience and not repeat the mistakes. Harri followed our team strategy and finished in the points, which is appreciated, especially on Tarmac rallies which are not his favorite".

While the event was a qualifying round of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship, a number of crews were still battling for Group N honors. Albert Orriols was best of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution crews, the Spaniard third in the category.

The FIA World Rally Championship crews now head to the other side of the world for the final round of the series, Rally Australia (November 10-13). Gigi Galli will once again join Harri Rovanperä for this fast gravel rally based in Perth, Western Australia.

News from our rivals

Citroën claimed an emphatic one-two, with Sébastien Loeb once again taking victory - his 10th of the season. François Duval’s second position also secured the French manufacturer the world title for the third consecutive year (subject to FIA confirmation). The battle for the final podium position between Xavier Pons and Mikko Hirvonen went down to the wire, but Hirvonen’s fastest time in the final stage secured the Finn third position and his best-ever FIA WRC result. Ford’s registered driver Roman Kresta finished fifth and Nicolas Bernardi rounded off the top six in Peugeot’s second 307 WRC, the only one to finish following the retirement of Marcus Grönholm last night.

FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

  Driver / Co-driver Nat. Car Gr/Cl Total Time Difference
 Sébastien LOEB / Daniel Elena F/MC  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8 M 3.31.07.0   
 François DUVAL / Sven Smeets B  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8 M 3.32.28.9  1.21.9 
 Mikko HIRVONEN / Jarmo Lehtinen FIN  FORD Focus RS WRC 03 A8 3.33.53.7  2.46.7 
 Xavier PONS / Carlos del Barrio E  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8 3.33.54.9  2.47.9 
 Roman KRESTA / Jan Tománek CZ  FORD Focus RS WRC 04 A8 M 3.34.31.6  3.24.6 
 Nicolas BERNARDI / Jean-Marc Fortin F  PEUGEOT 307 WRC A8 M 3.35.16.4  4.09.4 
 Antony WARMBOLD / Michael Orr D/GB  FORD Focus RS WRC 04 A8 3.36.07.3  5.00.3 
 Jan KOPECKY / Filip Schovánek CZ  SKODA Fabia WRC 05 A8 3.36.29.3  5.22.3 
 Christopher ATKINSON / Glenn Macneall AUS  SUBARU Impreza WRC 05 A8 3.36.47.2  5.40.2 
10   Harri ROVANPERA / Risto Pietiläinen FIN  MITSUBISHI Lancer WRC05 A8 M 3.38.46.3  7.39.3 
11   Armin SCHWARZ / Klaus Wicha D  SKODA Fabia WRC 05 A8 M 3.40.03.6  8.56.6 
12   Daniel SORDO / Marc Marti E  CITROEN C2 A6 J 3.48.27.7  17.20.7 
13   Petter SOLBERG / Phil Mills N/GB  SUBARU Impreza WRC 05 A8 M 3.49.07.9  18.00.9 
14   Toni GARDEMEISTER / Jakke Honkanen FIN  FORD Focus RS WRC 04 A8 M 3.50.09.0  19.02.0 
15   Eamonn BOLAND / Francis Regan GB  FORD Focus RS WRC 03 A8 3.51.35.2  20.28.2 
16   Kosti KATAJAMAKI / Timo Alanne FIN  SUZUKI Ignis A6 J 3.53.28.6  22.21.6 
17   Mirco BALDACCI / Giovanni Bernacchini RSM/I  FIAT Punto A6 J 3.53.50.4  22.43.4 
18   Enrique GARCIA-OJEDA / Jordi Barrabes E  SUBARU Impreza N4 3.54.27.0  23.20.0 
19   Jari-Matti LATVALA / Miikka Antilla FIN  SUBARU Impreza N4 3.56.44.1  25.37.1 
20   Ricardo TRIVINO / Sergio Salom MEX/E  PEUGEOT 206 WRC A8 3.57.16.3  26.09.3 
24   Albert ORRIOLS / Enric Massó E  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 4.04.48.8  33.41.8 
25   Hans-Erik WENG / Anders Fredriksson NL  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 4.05.38.9  34.31.9 
26   Joan FONT / Manel Muñoz E  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 4.07.30.1  36.23.1 
27   Alberto PIATTO / Federico Vacca I  RENAULT Clio N3 4.08.55.8  37.48.8 
29   Mark VAN ELDIK / Michel Groenewoud NL  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 4.10.08.4  39.01.4 
30   Salvador CANALS / Jordi Puchol E  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 4.11.30.9  40.23.9 
31   Ramon MONTLLEO / Ramon Subiranas E  RENAULT Clio N3 4.13.34.3  42.27.3 
32   Sergio PEREZ / Pablo Marcos E  PEUGEOT 206 RC N3 4.19.30.4  48.23.4 
33   Erik MOREE / Andre Schoonenwolf NL  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 4.21.39.2  50.32.2 
34   Jaap SINKE / Pascal Meijs NL  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 4.24.19.3  53.12.3 
35   Michiel ECKHAUS / Kees Hagman NL  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 4.26.06.6  54.59.6 
Nationalities: AUS=Australia/ B=Belgium/ CZ=Czech Republic/ D=Germany/ E=Spain/ F=France/ FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ I=Italy/ MC=Monte Carlo/ MEX=Mexico/ N=Norway/ NL=The Netherlands/ RSM=San Marino/
M: drivers nominated in the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers
J: drivers eligible for FIA Junior World Rally Championship points