COMMUNIQUE 5
5 June 2005 LEG 3 RELEASE

MITSUBISHI LANCER WRC05 SETS TWO FASTEST TIMES AND SCORES MANUFACTURER POINTS AGAIN IN TURKEY
Galli shows the Lancer WRC05 has the pace to challenge for podium positions
Mitsubishi scores points from six of seven events

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
"Gigi" Galli / Guido D’Amore

The Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports WRC crew of "Gigi" Galli and Guido D’Amore once again scored points for the team in the Rally of Turkey, the Lancer WRC05 crew finishing eighth overall in only their second outing in the event. The Italians were robbed of a potential podium position during the start of the second leg, but nevertheless set two fastest stage times, led the rally for one stage and displayed stunning form on another of the toughest rounds of the series.

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
"Gigi" Galli / Guido D’Amore
Team-mates Harri Rovanperä and Risto Pietiläinen ran under SUPERally regulations for two legs after retiring from the opening day with damaged suspension. The Finns finished 10th overall, climbing one position up the leaderboard today.

The final leg of the Rally of Turkey covered just two stages and 49.80 competitive kilometers. However, it also included the longest stage of the event (33.35 kilometers) and for many it proved as much of a battle for man and machinery as the previous two days.

Gigi Galli and Guido D’Amore continued to set a hot pace in the final leg, claiming fourth fastest time in the closing two stages. They arrived back in Kemer in eighth position, claiming the final driver and manufacturer point.

"We took a steady pace today as there was no point to risk anything", said Gigi. "Despite the disappointment yesterday, I have to say I am very happy with this rally. We made some good times and we are very close to having a great result. For me, that’s in two rallies time, then it’s my turn! We have some new solutions coming up, things we have already tested that I think will mean we can challenge and make the podium".

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
Harri Rovanperä / Risto Pietiläinen
Team-mates Harri Rovanperä and Risto Pietiläinen also had a clear run to the finish and moved one place up the leaderboard, overhauling Henning Solberg in the process.

"It’s been a difficult rally which really ended for us on Friday", said Harri. "Since then we have been testing various things to see if we can find solutions for different situations. We have learned some stuff, but overall the rally has not been fantastic for us. Overall the tires have been working very well, the wear was good and we can look forward to Greece with some optimism".

Adding to the drivers’ comments, Technical Director Mario Fornaris said: "We had a good performance from the car and Gigi made a great drive. Harri was unlucky, but all in all I think we must be happy. It is the first time we have shown that we can be in the top ranking and that is my memory from this event. Gigi was in the top five throughout and he had two best times; that is the making of a podium position. We couldn’t achieve it here because of a technical problem, but we have shown it is possible for the future".

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
Harri Rovanperä / Risto Pietiläinen
Isao Torii, Head of Mitsubishi Motor Sports, commented: "Again we finished the rally and with one car in the points. I must say thank you to the whole team; everyone has shown how they can perform and demonstrated great potential. The drivers become more and more confident with the car each time and they showed speed and confirmed that we are ready for the next stage of our strategy, namely to challenge for podium positions. I am feeling very optimistic about the rest of the season".

Mid-season in the FIA World Rally Championship is marked by the Acropolis Rally (June 23-26), the last of this group of European gravel events. Harri Rovanperä and Risto Pietiläinen will once again pilot the lead Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 and the Finns are joined by Gigi Galli and Guido D’Amore.

News from our rivals

Sébastien Loeb took another crushing victory in the Xsara, the Frenchman notching up his fifth overall and fourth consecutive victory this season. He reached the finish with nearly a minute in hand to second-placed Petter Solberg who managed to stay ahead of Marcus Grönholm, who claimed the final podium position. Carlos Sainz achieved Citroën’s stated objective of claiming manufacturer points; the Spaniard finishing a fine fourth on his return to the series after a seven month absence. Markko Märtin also took a double points haul for Peugeot and Toni Gardemeister rounded off the top six, with team-mate Roman Kresta in seventh.


2005 FIA Production Car World Rally Championship (Round 4/8)

MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVER PONS TAKES FOURTH PLACE ON RALLY OF TURKEY

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution driver Xavier Pons maintained second place in the points standings by finishing fourth in the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship on the fourth round of the series, the Rally of Turkey. Pons, who led the Mitsubishi challenge for most of the way, was one of the pacesetters throughout the rally.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
Xavier Pons / Oriol Julià
Although the final leg comprised just two stages, it was far from easy. The last stage was the longest of the rally, winding over steep mountain passes for 33 kilometers.

There was plenty at stake in the PWRC, with a pack of drivers jostling for victory and the battle for supremacy provided one of the highlights of the rally. There was no hint of the earlier rain, the numerous spectators basking in hot Mediterranean sunshine.

Xavier Pons put in a solid performance to clinch fourth in class in his Lancer Evolution, experiencing no problems in the final leg as he consolidated his position. The result means he is joint second in the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship mid-way through the season.

"The good thing is that we have had some very fast stage times and I think we have shown that the car is very competitive", said Pons. "Still, we have had a few problems, like our puncture yesterday. We could have won if we had had a bit more luck".

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
Federico Villagra / Javier Villagra
Argentina’s Federico Villagra fought back bravely from a difficult first leg, when he experienced a fuel injection problem. After that, his Lancer Evolution ran strongly and he fell only just short of scoring a Production Car World Rally Championship point.

"It’s been quite a good rally in the end", said Villagra, who finished ninth. "We have got progressively quicker and I have been pleased with the times. It has been a nice experience".

Italian Angelo Medeghini was the next Lancer Evolution driver home, in tenth, pressing on to finish strongly after a difficult event. It was an unlucky rally for Japan’s Fumio Nutahara. He recorded a number of excellent and fastest stage times in his Lancer Evolution and was fifth in the PWRC as he began the final stage. But he slid wide on a tightening left-hander and the car tipped on its side. After many minutes, the help of eight spectators ensured that he reached the finish.

The FIA Production Car World Rally Championship resumes next month on the other side of the globe, with the Rally of Argentina.

FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

  Driver / Co-driver Nat. Car Gr/Cl Total Time Difference
 Sébastien LOEB / Daniel Elena F/MC  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8 M 4.21.48.0   
 Petter SOLBERG / Phil Mills N/GB  SUBARU Impreza WRC 05 A8 M 4.22.47.6  59.6 
 Marcus GRONHOLM / Timo Rautiainen FIN  PEUGEOT 307 WRC A8 M 4.23.03.3  1.15.3 
 Carlos SAINZ / Marc Marti E  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8 M 4.26.05.9  4.17.9 
 Markko MARTIN / Michael Park EE/GB  PEUGEOT 307 WRC A8 M 4.27.45.2  5.57.2 
 Toni GARDEMEISTER / Jakke Honkanen FIN  FORD Focus RS WRC 04 A8 M 4.29.55.3  8.07.3 
 Roman KRESTA / Jan Možný CZ  FORD Focus RS WRC 04 A8 M 4.30.36.3  8.48.3 
 "Gigi" GALLI / Guido D’Amore I  MITSUBISHI Lancer WRC05 A8 M 4.31.26.9  9.38.9 
 Antony WARMBOLD / Michael Orr D/GB  FORD Focus RS WRC 04 A8 4.33.14.7  11.26.7 
10   Harri ROVANPERA / Risto Pietiläinen FIN  MITSUBISHI Lancer WRC05 A8 M 4.35.39.4  13.51.4 
11   Henning SOLBERG / Cato Menkerud N  FORD Focus RS WRC 04 A8 4.38.28.9  16.40.9 
12   Aris VOVOS / "El-Em" GR  SUBARU Impreza WRC A8 4.40.29.6  18.41.6 
13   Janne TUOHINO / Mikko Markkula FIN  SKODA Fabia WRC A8 M 4.42.23.0  20.35.0 
14   Toshihiro ARAI / Tony Sircombe J/NZ  SUBARU Impreza N4 P 4.45.30.6  23.42.6 
15   Marcos LIGATO / Ruben Garcia RA  SUBARU Impreza N4 P 4.45.32.2  23.44.2 
16   Nasser-S. AL-ATTIYAH / Chris Patterson QA/GB  SUBARU Impreza N4 P 4.46.54.9  25.06.9 
17   Xavier PONS / Oriol Julià E  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 P 4.46.59.6  25.11.6 
18   Mehmet BESLER / Afşin Baydar TR  FORD Focus RS WRC 00 A8 4.51.11.4  29.23.4 
19   Per-Gunnar ANDERSSON / J. Andersson S  SUZUKI Ignis A6 4.53.09.0  31.21.0 
20   Hamed AL-WAHAIBI / David Senior OM/GB  SUBARU Impreza N4 P 4.53.23.3  31.35.3 
.../...
22   Aki TEISKONEN / Miika Teiskonen FIN  SUBARU Impreza N4 P 4.54.00.7  32.12.7 
23   Sebastián BELTRAN / Edgardo Galindo RA  SUBARU Impreza N4 P 4.55.50.1  34.02.1 
24   Christopher ATKINSON / Glenn Macneall AUS  SUBARU Impreza WRC 05 A8 M 4.56.55.3  35.07.3 
26   Brice TIRABASSI / Matthieu Baumel F  SUBARU Impreza N4 P 4.57.25.5  35.37.5 
27   Federico VILLAGRA / Javier Villagra RA  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 P 4.58.50.0  37.02.0 
28   Suhail AL-MAKTOUM / Ahmad Ghaziri UAE/RL  SUBARU Impreza N4 4.59.15.3  37.27.3 
32   Angelo MEDEGHINI / Barbara Capoferri I  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 P 5.04.39.7  42.51.7 
33   Dimitar ILIEV / Yanaki Yanakiev BG  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 5.05.07.3  43.19.3 
34   Khalid AL-QASSIMI / Nicky Beech UAE/GB  SUBARU Impreza N4 5.07.23.8  45.35.8 
35   Ferran FONT / Miquel Amblas AND/E  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 5.08.44.5  46.56.5 
39   Kerem USTUNKAYA / Hande İşçimenler TR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 5.18.21.0  56.33.0 
41   Riccardo ERRANI / Stefano Casadio I  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 P 5.20.06.1  58.18.1 
42   Tansel URUNDUL / Mert Süzgen TR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 5.24.27.4  1.02.39.4 
43   Fabio FRISIERO / Giovanni Agnese I  SUBARU Impreza N4 P 5.28.13.3  1.06.25.3 
44   Mark HIGGINS / Trevor Agnew GB  SUBARU Impreza N4 P 5.28.43.9  1.06.55.9 
45   Fumio NUTAHARA / Satoshi Hayashi J  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 P 5.30.55.8  1.09.07.8 
46   Natalie BARRATT / Carl Williamson GB  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 P 5.31.39.1  1.09.51.1 
48   Cenk CEYISAKAR / Kerem Baykal TR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 5.43.08.0  1.21.20.0 
50   Nisa BOZKURT / Melis Çeker TR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 5.51.20.2  1.29.32.2 
54   Ali GULAN / Aytaç Biter TR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 6.31.42.9  2.09.54.9 
Nationalities: AND=Andorra/ AUS=Australia/ BG=Bulgaria/ CZ=Czech Republic/ D=Germany/ E=Spain/ EE=Estonia/ F=France/ FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ GR=Greece/ I=Italy/ J=Japan/ MC=Monte Carlo/ N=Norway/ NZ=New Zealand/ OM=Oman/ QA=Qatar/ RA=Argentina/ RL=Lebanon/ S=Sweden/ TR=Turkey/ UAE=United Arab Emirates/
M: drivers nominated in the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers
P: drivers eligible for FIA Production Car World Rally Championship points