MITSUBISHI MOTORS

HOME

2006
FIA World Cup For Cross Country Rallies
FIA International Cup For Cross Country Bajas

Report

FIA WORLD CUP FOR CROSS COUNTRY RALLIES
ROUND 1: POR LAS PAMPAS RALLY
Start: San Martin de Los Andes, Argentina / Finish: Iquique, Chile
Total Distance: 4885.61km (Liaison 1852.45 / Competitive 3033.16km)
 
ALPHAND AND ROMA TAKE FIRST AND SECOND FOR REPSOL MITSUBISHI RALLIART TEAM IN PATAGONIA-ATACAMA RALLY  
17 MARCH 2006 EVENT RELEASE
FINAL RESULTS

Luc Alphand / Gilles Picard
Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution
Winners - 2006 Por Las Pampas Rally
 

Luc Alphand / Gilles Picard
Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution
 

Joan ’Nani’ Roma / Henri Magne
Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution
 

Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution
In action on 2006 Por Las Pampas Rally
 
Frenchman Luc Alphand and co-driver Gilles Picard clinched outright victory for the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team in the Patagonia-Atacama Rally, the opening round of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup, which finished in Iquique, northern Chile on Thursday afternoon.

Spanish team mate Joan ’Nani’ Roma and Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne led during the middle of the nine-day event, but clutch problems in Chile pushed them back down to second overall in their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution.

"This was another superb victory for Mitsubishi and a great team effort on a very hard and long rally," said a delighted MMSP Team Director Dominique Serieys. "Our drivers, co-drivers and mechanics worked superbly as a team. It was valuable experience for the future on an event that I thought was harder than last year. Some of the terrain was spectacular and very difficult. The dunes were particularly tricky."

Alphand and Picard had moved into the outright lead on the second selective section between Neuquén and San Rafael in Argentina last Thursday, after Brazilian Mauricio Neves had taken a surprise lead on the opening section from San Martin de Los Andes. Alphand damaged a wheel on a large rock in a slow and technical section of the first stage and was forced to borrow a wheel from team mate Roma, who was also badly delayed. Neves duly began the second section between Neuquén and San Rafael with a 2m 47s lead over Roma, with Alphand down in third place.

Alphand and Roma made amends on the punishing 653.37 km section into San Rafael, with the Frenchman beating his Spanish team mate by 2m 20s to take an overall lead of 1m 24s. Their nearest rival was the Brazilian Guillermo Spinelli, over 50 minutes behind in a privately-run Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero.

"We caught ’Nani’ and stayed just in front of him to make sure that we made no mistakes with the navigation," said Alphand. "It was a long, hard day. The first section passed a stunning plateau and some tricky wadis. The second was much faster and spectacular. We drove for 70 km along a river bed."

The Frenchman held a slender advantage over Roma until the event arrived in Chile. Luc was again fastest on the selective section between San Rafael and Mendoza and arrived in the capital of the Argentine wine region with a 1m 37s advantage over his team mate, whom he had beaten by 13 seconds on the day’s special. Russian Sergey Shmakov was a distant third in a Buggy.

Roma was able to claw back 1m 30s of Alphand’s advantage on the final Argentina special stage to draw within sight of his team mate before teams crossed the spine of the Andes mountain range and tackled a timed 2.15 km spectator stage in Santiago on Saturday evening.

Roma – who finished fourth overall last year in a Mitsubishi L200 Pick-Up - won the spectacular super special by three seconds and headed north out of the Chilean capital en route to La Serena, a mere eight seconds behind his Dakar Rally-winning team mate, only to take the outright lead on Sunday evening.

Alphand was forced to stop and change a puncture 20 km from the end of the next stage between Santiago and La Serena on the Pacific coast and slipped 2m 11s behind his Spanish team mate in the overall classification. Roma won the day’s stage in an unofficial time of 3h 19m 43s.

Over the final four stages on the run north through Chile, the Mitsubishi pair were in a class of their own. Roma sustained a flat rear tyre on the tricky 379.90 km coastal stage between La Serena and Copiapo being beaten by 2m 08s seconds by his team mate who won the stage. But the Spaniard maintained a slender three-second advantage over the Frenchman in the overall classification. Russia’s Sergey Shmakov was now 5h 29m 55s behind the leading Mitsubishi in his Buggy.

Alphand regained the overall lead on the 176.7 km Copiapo loop stage on Tuesday, when Roma was delayed for over an hour near the first passage control in sand dunes with clutch problems. The Spaniard was forced to replace the clutch in the stage and slipped 1h 43m 24s behind his colleague after setting the fourth fastest time. Alphand remained over six hours ahead of third-placed Shmakov.

"The stage was magnificent, but very tricky in places," said Alphand. "We deflated the tyres and only took two spare wheels in the car. Some of the dune crossings were very difficult and we hit one clump of camel grass behind a sand dune, but nothing too serious."

The run north to the copper mining town of Antofagasta included an arduous 675.27 km selective section, which ran through mountains and descended into a canyon alongside the Pacific Ocean. Despite a puncture, Roma was quicker than his team mate, but remained 1h 41m 32s behind Alphand prior to the start of the final stage into Iquique on Thursday.

As the event headed through the towering, desolate wastelands of the world’s highest and driest desert – the Atacama - Alphand and Roma consolidated their positions at the top of the leader board on the 200.60 km timed selective section. Alphand duly reached the finish of the event 1h 40m 52s ahead of team mate Roma, with Shmakov 6h 14m 06s in arrears in third place.

The event began at San Martin de Los Andes in northern Patagonia, Argentina, on Tuesday, March 7th and finished at Iquique in northern Chile on Thursday, March 16th.


 FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Cat
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Luc Alphand
Gilles Picard
Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution T1
1
34:53:56.0 **:**.*
2 Joan Roma
Henri Magne
Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution T1
2
36:34:32.0 +1:40:36.0
3 Sergey Shmakov
Sergey Mishin
Buggy ZIL T1
3
42:26:25.0 +7:32:29.0
4 Patxi Otano
Leonardo Monti
Toyota Revolution T1
4
53:47:05.0 +18:53:09.0
5 Luis Tedesco
Marcos Almeida
Chevrolet S-10 T1
5
60:10:57.0 +25:17:01.0
6 Marlon Koerich
Joseane Koerich
Chevrolet S-10 T1
6
61:07:15.0 +26:13:19.0
7 Alejandro Briones
Javier Campillay
Toyota Hilux T1
7
70:51:13.0 +35:57:17.0
8 Mario Codoceo
Enrique Figueroa
Toyota  T1
8
75:23:50.0 +40:29:54.0
9 Eduardo Blanco
Fernando Marco
Suzuki Grand Vitara T1
9
83:23:48.0 +48:29:52.0
10 Claudio Sampieri
Macarena Tondreau
Nissan Terrano T1
10
97:49:12.0 +62:55:16.0
11 Victoria Carrasco
Monia Vogel
Kia Sorento T2
1
103:13:54.0 +68:19:58.0
12 Gabriel Peschiera
Juan Pablo Gajardo
Nissan Terrano T1
11
126:36:38.0 +91:42:42.0



Photo Library
 

(c) 2006 Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. All rights reserved.