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FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 16: WALES RALLY GB
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVERS SURVIVE TOUGH CONDITIONS IN WALES  
03 DECEMBER 2006 LEG 3 RELEASE
 
OVERALL FINAL RESULTS
OVERALL LEG 2 RESULTS
OVERALL LEG 1 RESULTS

Ryan Champion / Craig Thorley
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
 

Stuart Jones / Craig Parry
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
 

Gavin Cox / Tim Hobbs
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
 
Britain’s Stuart Jones was the fastest Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution driver home on what was one of the toughest Rally Great Britains in many years. The event had moved back to its traditional season-closing date, which brought with it a return to the wintry weather conditions usually associated with Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

And this week’s Rally Great Britain did not disappoint. The run up to the start had been marked by heavy rain, leaving the stages muddy and treacherously slippery. For the first half of the event, the rain held off. On Saturday afternoon and all through the final leg, however, storms battered the south-west corner of Wales.

As well as being the final round of the world championship, the event was also the season closer for the British Rally Championship, and that was where the majority of the Mitsubishi drivers came from. Jones was on fine form in Wales. He overcame a puncture on the first stage to guide his Lancer Evolution to maximum points in his home series and fourth in Group N.

"This is always a tough event, but this has been a really tough one!" said Jones, who was competing on his home round of the world championship for only the second time. "It was quite tricky at times being involved in the British Rally Championship side of things. I wanted to take maximum points on the event for BRC, but at the same time, I wanted to try to push and take on some of the other Group N drivers. This is a great way for me to end my season in the Mitsubishi."

Former British champion David Higgins had been tipped as one of the frontrunners on this event. The Manxman won Group N in 2001 and had high hopes of repeating that success in his Lancer Evolution. Higgins’ preparations for the event hadn’t been ideal, however. He had been competing in China the weekend before Rally GB and only arrived at the start of the recce with hours to spare. Higgins and Jones went head-to-head in a thrilling race through the final four stages of the rally, with Jones eventually taking the position by just 1.8 seconds.

"The rally in China was delayed, which meant I missed my plane back to the UK," said Higgins. "It wasn’t the ideal preparation for the event. Once we got here, though, the Mitsubishi was very good."

Another Briton, Ryan Champion was sixth in Group N in his Lancer Evolution.

Ford driver Marcus Gronholm clinched his seventh win of the season, ensuring the Finn of his most successful in terms of rally victories year in the sport. Peugeot driver Manfred Stohl was next up, clinching his best ever Rally Great Britain finish in the 307 WRC.

Rally Great Britain brings to a close an enormously successful season for Mitsubishi, with the Lancer Evolution clinching Group N success on eight rounds of this year’s World Rally Championship. Japan’s Fumio Nutahara won three Production rounds and came within an ace of lifting this year’s title, ending the year in the runners-up spot.


 OVERALL FINAL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M1
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
1
3:20:24.8 **:**.*
2
M2
Manfred Stohl
Ilka Minor
Peugeot 307 WRC A
2
3:22:00.3 +1:35.5
3
M1
Petter Solberg
Phil Mills
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
3
3:22:20.0 +1:55.2
4
M2
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
4
3:23:01.9 +2:37.1
5
M1
Xavier Pons
Carlos Del Barrio
Citroen Xsara WRC A
5
3:23:44.7 +3:19.9
6
M1
Chris Atkinson
Glenn Macneall
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
6
3:23:52.3 +3:27.5
7
M1
Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
Citroen Xsara WRC A
7
3:24:33.1 +4:08.3
8 Francois Duval
Patrick Privato
Skoda Fabia WRC A
8
3:24:47.4 +4:22.6
9
M2
Harri Rovanpera
Risto Pietilainen
Skoda Fabia WRC A
9
3:28:25.1 +8:00.3
10 Jan Kopecky
Filip Schovanek
Skoda Fabia WRC A
10
3:28:52.6 +8:27.8
11
M2
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
Peugeot 307 WRC A
11
3:29:13.1 +8:48.3
12
M2
Matthew Wilson
Michael Orr
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
12
3:30:46.7 +10:21.9
13 Anton Alen
Timo Alanne
Subaru Impreza N
1
3:40:49.6 +20:24.8
14 Patrick Flodin
Maria Andersson
Subaru Impreza N
2
3:41:59.0 +21:34.2
15 Oscar Svedlund
Bjorn Nillson
Subaru Impreza N
3
3:43:47.3 +23:22.5
16 Ryan Champion
Craig Thorley
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
4
3:50:35.6 +30:10.8
17 Stuart Jones
Craig Parry
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
5
3:51:19.7 +30:54.9
18 David Higgins
Ieuan Thomas
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
6
3:51:21.5 +30:56.7
19 Juho Hanninen
Marko Sallinen
Citroen C2 A
13
3:52:51.8 +32:27.0
20
J
Jaan Molder
Katrin Becker
Suzuki Swift A
14
3:55:04.7 +34:39.9
../
26 Jasper van der Heuvel
Martine Kolman
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
8
4:02:03.4 +41:38.6
29 Paul Jones
David Roberts
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
10
4:04:05.5 +43:40.7
32 Arjen de Koning
Hein Verschuuren
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution A
21
4:06:02.4 +45:37.6
36 Giovanni Manfrinato
Carlo Pisano
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
12
4:07:14.4 +46:49.6
37 Brendan Kelly
Derek Brannigan
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
13
4:07:42.9 +47:18.1
40 Michal Solowow
Maciek Baran
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
16
4:10:06.2 +49:41.4
41 Mark van Eldrik
Michel Groenowoud
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
17
4:10:19.0 +49:54.2
43 Evert Bolderheij
Sander Roling
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
18
4:10:52.3 +50:27.5
45 Connor McCloskey
Damien Connolly
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
19
4:12:20.9 +51:56.1
46 Barry Groundwater
Jude Wylie
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
20
4:12:43.2 +52:18.4
48 Piet van Hoof
Niels Leermakers
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution A
27
4:14:28.9 +54:04.1
49 Jaap Sinke
Pascal Meijs
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
22
4:15:12.7 +54:47.9
50 Paul James
Derek Davies
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
23
4:15:21.0 +54:56.2
51 Phillip Morrow
Daniel Barritt
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
24
4:16:15.8 +55:51.0
63 Jonny Milner
Nicky Beech
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
33
4:27:58.5 +1:07:33.7
66 Mandy Bowman
Kenneth Bowman
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
36
4:31:25.1 +1:11:00.3
67 Gwyndaf Evans
Huw Lewis
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
37
4:33:07.8 +1:12:43.0
74 Wayne Radford
Craig Drew
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
44
4:48:35.7 +1:28:10.9



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