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FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 4: RALLY CATALUNYA
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVERS ARE STRONG FINISHERS IN CATALUNYA  
26 MARCH 2006 LEG 3 RELEASE
 
OVERALL FINAL RESULTS
OVERALL LEG 2 RESULTS
OVERALL LEG 1 RESULTS

Hans-Erik Weng / Anders Frediksson
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII
 

Tibor Cserhalmi / Milos Hulka
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
 

Stuart Jones / Craig Parry
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
 
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution drivers packed out the Group N points positions at the finish of the fourth round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship in Spain today. Sweden’s Hans-Erik Weng and co-driver Anders Fredriksson finished as top Mitsubishi on Rally Catalunya, clinching a career-best second overall in the Production Class.

The Group N category was won by Subaru man Oscar Svedlund, but the Mitsubishi drivers were in close pursuit. Weng moved into second place on the opening morning of the rally and remained there throughout leg two. He came under mounting pressure from fellow Lancer Evolution VIII crew Tibor Cserhalmi/Milos Hulka on the final leg, south of Barcelona. Cserhalmi moved into second place on SS13 and held the place for one stage, before a big effort from Weng regained the position for him on the all-asphalt rally’s penultimate test.

"This has been a fantastic event," said Weng who, like the rest of the crews had enjoyed the sunny dry conditions throughout the rally. "The car has run really well throughout. I’ve done Catalunya once before it’s one of the events I enjoy best. My favourite stages are the faster ones, which is where we have made up the time. Taking my best position in the WRC is great for me, but it was a big fight with Cserhalmi today, we could have done without that!"

Cserhalmi was disappointed to have missed out on second place by 2.5 seconds, but consoled himself with a podium finish in Group N after a solid run in his Lancer. It was a similar story for Britain’s Stuart Jones and Craig Parry, who were fourth.

Jones’ latest-specification Lancer Evolution IX was only just finished in time for the event, which meant he didn’t even have time to test the car at the rally’s pre-event shakedown. The first time he drove it in anger was on the first stage. This was also his first time competing on a foreign round of the World Rally Championship. After sliding into a tree on the first day, Jones settled into a rhythm and posted fastest times on his Catalan debut.

"It was an amazing experience," said Jones. "I was really looking forward to this event, but I never expected to enjoy it as much as I have done it’s fantastic. For some reason the turbo wasn’t giving us as much boost as it might have done, so we were a little down on power for some of the event. I’m really pleased with what I’ve achieved here and with a bit more experience I think we could even have won Group N. The new Lancer is absolutely fantastic, though."

Catalan Championship competitor Salvador Canals and Jordi Puchol were fifth after three trouble-free days on the roads which they live close to. Paraplegic driver Albert Llovera delivered a fine result on his asphalt debut in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, finishing seventh seventh in class N4. The Andorran dropped five minutes after smashing a wheel on the opening leg.

The usual finish celebrations were suspended in Catalunya last week, after German co-driver Jorg Bastuck died in an accident on the second stage of the rally.

In the overall classification, Citroen driver Sebastien Loeb took his second win of the season. The Frenchman’s success was made easier after early leader Marcus Gronholm (Ford) suffered a turbo problem on day one. Gronholm recovered to third, while Spain’s Daniel Sordo was second on only his fourth ever event in a World Rally Car.

The next round of the FIA World Rally Championship is the Tour de Corse, April 7-9.


 OVERALL FINAL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M1
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
Citroen Xsara WRC A
1
3:22:01.7 **:**.*
2 Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
Citroen Xsara A
2
3:22:49.9 +48.2
3
M1
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
3
3:23:47.5 +1:45.8
4 Alexandre Bengue
Caroline Escudero
Peugeot 307 WRC A
4
3:24:03.6 +2:01.9
5 Jan Kopecky
Filip Schovanek
Skoda Fabia WRC A
5
3:24:58.9 +2:57.2
6 Francois Duval
Patrick Privato
Skoda Fabia WRC A
6
3:25:39.5 +3:37.8
7
M1
Petter Solberg
Phil Mills
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
7
3:25:49.9 +3:48.2
8
M1
Stephane Sarrazin
Stéphane Prevot
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
8
3:26:38.1 +4:36.4
9
M1
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
9
3:27:03.3 +5:01.6
10
M2
Gilles Panizzi
Hervé Panizzi
Skoda Fabia WRC A
10
3:27:06.1 +5:04.4
11 Chris Atkinson
Glenn Macneall
Subaru Impreza WRC 2005 A
11
3:27:35.6 +5:33.9
12 Manfred Stohl
Ilka Minor
Peugeot 307 WRC A
12
3:27:50.1 +5:48.4
13
M2
Andreas Aigner
Timo Gottschalk
Skoda Fabia WRC A
13
3:31:39.0 +9:37.3
14 Stepan Vojtech
Michal Ernst
Peugeot 206 WRC A
14
3:39:18.6 +17:16.9
15
M2
Matthew Wilson
Michael Orr
Ford Focus RS WRC 04 A
15
3:39:59.1 +17:57.4
16
M2
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
Ford Focus RS WRC 04 A
16
3:40:14.0 +18:12.3
17
J
Martin Prokop
Jan Tomanek
Citroen C2 A
17
3:46:04.0 +24:02.3
18
J
Bernard Casier
Frederic Miclotte
Renault Clio A
18
3:46:46.3 +24:44.6
19
J
Kris Meeke
Glenn Patterson
Citroen C2 A
19
3:47:09.4 +25:07.7
20 Alberto Piatto
Federico Vacca
Renault Clio S1600 A
20
3:47:30.9 +25:29.2
../
22 Oscar Svenlund
Bjorn Nilsson
Subaru STI N12 N
1
3:50:00.3 +27:58.6
27 Hans-Erik Weng
Anders Fredriksson
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII N
2
3:53:17.2 +31:15.5
28 Tibor Cserhalmi
Milos Hulka
Mitsubishi Lancer N
3
3:53:19.7 +31:18.0
29 Stuart Jones
Craig Parry
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX N
4
3:53:42.6 +31:40.9
32 Salvador Canals
Jordi Puchol
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII N
5
3:57:24.4 +35:22.7
36 Albert Llovera
Lucas S. Cruz
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII N
8
4:02:13.9 +40:12.2
50 Thorsten Kuhlmann
Detlef Ruf
Mitsubishi Carisma Evo VII N
20
4:28:29.1 +1:06:27.4



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