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FIA PRODUCTION CAR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 6: CYPRUS RALLY
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION WINS SECOND RALLY IN SUCCESSION  
24 SEPTEMBER 2006 FINAL LEG 3 RELEASE
 
PWRC FINAL RESULTS
OVERALL FINAL RESULTS

Fumio Nutahara / Daniel Barritt
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
 

Fumio Nutahara / Daniel Barritt
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
 

Simone Campedelli / Danilo Fappani
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII
 
Japan’s Fumio Nutahara scored a sensational third FIA Production Car World Rally Championship win of the season on the Cyprus Rally, which finished in Limassol this afternoon. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution driver had been at the forefront of the competition over three days’ of driving on the Mediterranean island just as he has been throughout the season before clinching a four-minute win after the 22nd and final stage north of the rally’s coastal base. This is Nutahara’s second PC WRC win this month, having clinched 10 points in Japan, three weeks ago.

Nutahara, who has now won three of his four PWRC outings this season, is now among the favourites for this year’s world title among the Group N drivers. A further two victories on the final two rallies of the season Australia and New Zealand would clinch a first ever world title for the 42-year-old, who is also leading the Japanese Rally Championship after four straight wins in his home series.

Despite heading into today’s six stages which were again run in hot and sunny conditions with more than four minutes in hand over the second-placed driver, Nutahara, who is co-driven by Britain’s Daniel Barritt, acknowledged this had been a far from easy day aboard his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The only minor problem came 10 kilometres from the end of the first test of the day, when Nutahara finished with a broken windscreen.

"That wasn’t a very nice way to start the day," said Nutahara. "Other than that, it’s been good. The roads are still slippery and, of course," said Nutahara. "It’s been a very hard day and rally. There was so much to lose all of the time. I didn’t have to drive flat out, I had to drive with my head and be sensible. We had two punctures during the event, but they were the only problem for us the car has been good for the whole event. It’s great to win again, now we have to see what we can do on the next two rallies."

A new feature on this year’s Cyprus Rally was the Down Town Special test, a 3.4-kilometre asphalt stage run through the centre of Limassol ahead of a packed, capacity crowd. Not even the switch from rough gravel roads to a super-smooth sealed surface could foil Nutahara’s efforts to continue the winning form he found in Japan earlier this month.

There was more Mitsubishi success further down the leaderboard, with 20-year-old World Rally Championship debutant Simone Campedelli making the most of his chance with the Errani Team Group, where he replaced regular Lancer Evolution driver Stefano Marrini. Campedelli made light of his inexperience at this level to drive sensibly to the finish, despite two punctures on SS18 this morning. His fourth place in the PC WRC standings clinched five points for the Italian team after a mechanically trouble-free run through this arduous event.

This year’s PWRC title can now only be won by three drivers. Nutahara has the biggest scoring opportunity, with 30 points and a further 20 possible. Nasser Al-Attiyah has scored 38, but can only add 10 more to his score. San Marino-based Mitsubishi man Mirco Baldacci is the other man in with a shot at the title; the former Junior WRC regular has 19 points, but two wins would allow him to end the season on a potentially championship-winning 39.

At the front of the field in Cyprus, Sebastien Loeb clinched his eighth win of the season to move him closer to a third successive drivers’ world title. The Citroen man now only requires six points from the final four rounds to be crowned champion. Ford men Marcus Gronholm and Mikko Hirvonen were second and third respectively.

The next round of the PWRC takes place on Rally Australia (October 26-29).


 PWRC FINAL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Fumio Nutahara
Daniel Barritt
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 5:10:43.3 **:**.*
2 Aki Teiskonen
Miika Teiskonen
Subaru Impreza STI 5:15:00.8 +4:17.5
3 Khalid Al Qassimi
Nick Beech
Subaru Impreza STI 5:16:42.5 +5:59.2
4 Simone Campedelli
Danilo Fappani
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII 5:22:14.4 +11:31.1
5 Nasser Al-Attiyah
Chris Patterson
Subaru Impreza 5:34:48.3 +24:05.0
6 Toshi Arai
Tony Sircombe
Subaru Impreza STI 5:43:47.9 +33:04.6


 OVERALL FINAL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M1
Sebastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
Citroen Xsara WRC A
1
4:40:50.4 **:**.*
2
M1
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
2
4:41:11.6 +21.2
3
M1
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
3
4:46:06.5 +5:16.1
4
M2
Manfred Stohl
Ilka Minor
Peugeot 307 WRC A
4
4:47:30.1 +6:39.7
5 Toni Gardemeister
Jakke Honkanen
Citroen Xsara A
5
4:49:30.8 +8:40.4
6
M2
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
Peugeot 307 WRC A
6
4:55:30.4 +14:40.0
7 Xavier Pons
Carlos Del Barrio
Citroen Xsara WRC A
7
4:55:37.1 +14:46.7
8
M1
Petter Solberg
Phil Mills
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
8
4:56:11.9 +15:21.5
9
M1
Chris Atkinson
Glenn Macneall
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
9
4:58:05.4 +17:15.0
10
M2
Matthew Wilson
Michael Orr
Ford Focus RS WRC 04 A
10
5:06:11.4 +25:21.0
11
M1
Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
Citroen Xsara WRC A
11
5:08:16.5 +27:26.1
12
P
Fumio Nutahara
Daniel Barritt
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX N
1
5:10:43.3 +29:52.9
13
P
Aki Teiskonen
Miika Teiskonen
Subaru Impreza STI N
2
5:15:00.8 +34:10.4
14
P
Khalid Al Qassimi
Nick Beech
Subaru Impreza STI N
3
5:16:42.5 +35:52.1
15
M2
Luis Perez Companc
Jose Maria Volta
Ford Focus RS WRC 04 A
12
5:20:51.3 +40:00.9
16
P
Simone Campedelli
Danilo Fappani
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
4
5:22:14.4 +41:24.0
17 Andreas Philippou
Costas Kourtellas
Subaru Impreza N
5
5:26:04.6 +45:14.2
18 Pantelis Pamboukka
Leonidas Christofi
Subaru Impreza STI N
6
5:28:16.8 +47:26.4
19 Manolis Kouloumas
Costas Georgiou
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI A
13
5:31:12.2 +50:21.8
20
P
Nasser Al-Attiyah
Chris Patterson
Subaru Impreza N
7
5:34:48.3 +53:57.9
21 Lambros Limniotis
George Pikis
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
8
5:37:19.7 +56:29.3
22 Savvas Savva
Constantinos Constantinou
Subaru Impreza N
9
5:38:51.6 +58:01.2
23
P
Toshi Arai
Tony Sircombe
Subaru Impreza STI N
10
5:43:47.9 +1:02:57.5
24 Yiotis Hartoupalos
Marios Vassiliades
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI N
11
5:58:31.5 +1:17:41.1
25 Petros Panteli
Youllis Aristodemou
Toyota Yaris A
14
6:00:51.8 +1:20:01.4
26 Charalambos Timotheou
Panayoitis Sialos
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
12
6:02:50.1 +1:21:59.7
27 Stavros Achilleos
Christofi Fanos
Honda Civic A
15
6:03:50.6 +1:23:00.2
28 Akis Makaronis
Stavros Kavvadias
Toyota Yaris A
16
6:29:29.9 +1:48:39.5



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