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FIA PRODUCTION CAR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 7: RALLY AUSTRALIA
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVER BALDACCI TAKES IMPRESSIVE SECOND IN RALLY AUSTRALIA  
29 OCTOBER 2006 LEG 3 RELEASE
 
PWRC FINAL RESULTS
OVERALL FINAL RESULTS

Mirco Baldacci / Giovanni Agnese
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
 

Stefano Marrini / Tiziana Sandroni
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII
 

Fumio Nutahara / Daniel Barritt
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
 
Mirco Baldacci powered his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX through one of his most impressive days in a rally car to move from fifth to second in the Production Car World Rally Championship standings at the end of Rally Australia in Perth today.

The San Marino driver left Langley Park early this morning in determined mood to make the podium. His efforts had been negated earlier in the rally by a poor choice of tires. His selection of a hard compound had not worked, despite high temperatures and blazing sunshine. The weather changed for the final leg and its six stages to the east of the event’s host city. The conditions were overcast with an ever-present threat of rain.

Baldacci, and co-driver Giovanni Agnese, didn’t care about the conditions, they only cared about overtaking the cars in front. Baldacci pushed his Mitsubishi hard and was only outside the top three Production Car stage times once through the day going fastest on the second run of the incredibly twisty and technical Atkins stage. After passing three cars, Baldacci was delighted with his result.

"It’s fantastic for me, my co-driver, the team and Mitsubishi," said Baldacci. "I had one set of soft tires, so I put them on the car this morning and they worked really well. I knew I would have to take the risk to try and make the podium, but this is what I wanted. I thought third would be nice, so to get second place is even better. The tires are the only thing that has spoiled my rally I never seemed to be able to get the choice right. The car has been fantastic, it hasn’t caused me any problems throughout the three days."

Baldacci’s fellow Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution crew Sebastian Beltran and Ricardo Rojas were fourth in their Tango Rally Team car. Beltran, from Argentina, also enjoyed a problem-free run in his car, allowing him to claim more valuable Production Car points on some of the most testing, remote and harsh roads anywhere on the planet.

Beltran’s team-mate Marcos Ligato, who had led this rally in his Lancer Evolution, retired half-way through the final day with an engine problem.

The final round of the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship takes place in just under three weeks, when the crews cross the Tasman Sea, bound for the fast and furious New Zealand stages. Mitsubishi man Fumio Nutahara is one of two men who can still lift this year’s crown, and the Japanese driver will be on top form as he attempts to add another title to the domestic series win he clinched earlier this month. Nutahara retired from Rally Australia with a blown turbo, but he still takes one point, having finished under superally regulations.

Beltran and Gabriel Pozzo were excluded when their cars were found not to conform to regulations.

At the head of the field on Rally Australia, Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen claimed his first ever World Rally Championship victory. The Finn led former world champion Petter Solberg (Subaru) home with Manfred Stohl completing the podium in his Peugeot.


 PWRC FINAL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
Subaru Impreza WRX Sti 3:32:21.0 **:**.*
2 Mirco Baldacci
Giovanni Agnese
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:32:54.7 +33.7
3 Dean Herridge
Bill Hayes
Subaru Impreza WRX 3:33:33.8 +1:12.8
4 Aki Teiskonen
Miika Teiskonen
Subaru Impreza WRX 3:42:18.3 +9:57.3
5 Sergey Uspenskiy
Dmitry Eremeev
Subaru Impreza STI 3:47:00.5 +14:39.5
6 Stefano Marrini
Tiziana Sandroni
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII 3:51:18.5 +18:57.5
7 Fumio Nutahara
Daniel Barritt
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:59:37.8 +27:16.8


 OVERALL FINAL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M1
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
1
3:15:11.8 **:**.*
2
M1
Petter Solberg
Phil Mills
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
2
3:15:48.9 +37.1
3
M2
Manfred Stohl
Ilka Minor
Peugeot 307 WRC A
3
3:19:10.4 +3:58.6
4
M1
Xavier Pons
Carlos Del Barrio
Citroen Xsara WRC A
4
3:19:57.2 +4:45.4
5
M1
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
5
3:27:35.6 +12:23.8
6
P
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
Subaru Impreza WRX Sti N
1
3:32:21.0 +17:09.2
7
P
Mirco Baldacci
Giovanni Agnese
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
2
3:32:54.7 +17:42.9
8
P
Dean Herridge
Bill Hayes
Subaru Impreza WRX N
3
3:33:33.8 +18:22.0
9
M1
Chris Atkinson
Glenn Macneall
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
6
3:42:17.3 +27:05.5
10
P
Aki Teiskonen
Miika Teiskonen
Subaru Impreza WRX N
4
3:42:18.3 +27:06.5
11 Darren Windus
Jonathon Mortimer
Subaru Impreza WRX N
5
3:44:50.6 +29:38.8
12
P
Sergey Uspenskiy
Dmitry Eremeev
Subaru Impreza STI N
6
3:47:00.5 +31:48.7
13 Christopher Anderson
Joel Lithgo
Subaru Impreza WRX N
7
3:48:01.2 +32:49.4
14 Toby Heyring
Peter Turner
Subaru Impreza WRX N
8
3:49:46.8 +34:35.0
15 James Anderson
Ben Searcy
Subaru Impreza WRX N
9
3:50:28.9 +35:17.1
16 Malcolm Stewart
Mike Fletcher
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI A
7
3:50:41.2 +35:29.4
17 Tolley Challis
Daryll Judd
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII A
8
3:50:43.1 +35:31.3
18
P
Stefano Marrini
Tiziana Sandroni
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
10
3:51:18.5 +36:06.7
19 Xu Lang
Dale Moscatt
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
11
3:53:00.1 +37:48.3
20 Warren Tuckett
Stuart Percival
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
12
3:56:56.9 +41:45.1
../
26
P
Fumio Nutahara
Daniel Barritt
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
16
3:59:37.8 +44:26.0
33 Steven Maitland
Brian D'Arcy
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V A
13
4:22:38.9 +1:07:27.1
37 Satoru Ito
Frank Brookhouse
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
24
4:40:21.7 +1:25:09.9



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