MITSUBISHI MOTORS

RALLI ART

Report
2007 FIA CROSS COUNTRY RALLY WORLD CUP
ROUND 1: RALI VODAFONE TRANSIBERICO
03 JUNE 2007
LEG 4
THRILLING FINALE AS MITSUBISHI TAKES 2ND and 4TH IN PORTUGAL FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
STAGE CLASSIFICATIONS

JOAN ROMA / LUCAS CRUZ
 

LUC ALPHAND / GILLES PICARD
 

JOAN ROMA / LUCAS CRUZ
 
Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart’s Joan ’Nani’ Roma/Lucas Cruz (Spain), and Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (France), today secured good result for the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution on Portugal’s Rally Transiberico.

The menu of the 2007 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup’s opening round featured seven twisty, narrow stages that were far more akin to WRC competition than the sort of baja or desert terrain more readily associated with the world of cross-country rallying. Yet although the event was ultimately won by ex-WRC champ Carlos Sainz, Roma pushed hard from the outset to keep his fellow Spaniard under pressure. However, when the former biker had to stop and change a puncture just 7km into Saturday morning’s 220km test, it handed his rival a chance to pull out a sufficiently comfortable cushion at the top to then be able to control from in front for the remainder of the weekend. Then, on the final dayE

As in 2006, Roma was joined on the podium by his Mitsubishi team-mate Luc Alphand at the end of the 2,220.98km event which featured 1,131.59km of against-the-clock action en route from the rally’s base in Estoril, west of Lisbon, to overnight halts in Badajoz, Spain, and Evora, Portugal, before returning to the Atlantic casino resort of Estoril for the finish ceremony.

Alphand’s run suffered an initial setback on Day 2 when he damaged his steering after clipping a rock. He then lost a further ten or so minutes on Saturday morning when the organisers had trouble pulling him clear of a muddy water-splash, an incident that essentially prevented the French crew from finishing the penultimate leg any higher than fourth overall behind Sainz, Roma and Carlos Sousa. The final day saw the Frenchman make a thrilling bid to clinch a top-three finish on the final day but fell short by a margin of less than two minutes after pulling back nearly six minutes of his deficit compared with Sousa on Saturday morning.

"It’s been a good rally, but we picked up three punctures in all over the weekend and we really needed a totally trouble-free run if we were to stand any chance of winning," observed Roma. "For the second year running, I will have to settle for 2nd place on the Transiberico, although there is no shame in finishing runner-up to someone of Carlos Sainz’s experience and calibre, especially on stages like this. Lucas and I gave it our very best shot, but in the end there was little we could do to put any significant pressure on the leader after the time we dropped early on."

Meanwhile, still buzzing from his late challenge to pass Sousa which saw him post the fastest time in the final stage of the weekend, Luc looked back at the way his weekend unfolded with mixed feelings. "It’s been great fighting at this level of competition and I’m delighted to have set at least one fastest time," he enthused. "We finished less than two minutes off the podium despite the time we lost on Saturday morning waiting for the organisers to pull us out of a water-crossing. That was so frustrating. Then, on the morning of the final day, we were asked to tuck in behind Roma on the stage after he suffered two punctures. He didn’t have any spares left and so it was only logical for me to stay with him to protect his second place rather than risk throwing everything away by trying to pass Sousa. I think we’ve all learnt a great deal this weekend and I can’t wait to put those lessons to good effect when my programme resumes in Argentina at the end of the summer."

"On this sort of terrain, which resembled a round of the WRC more than typical cross-country rally terrain, I have to say how pleased I am with the runs of both Nani and Luc who succeeded in taking the fight to someone with as much experience of this sort of terrain as Carlos Sainz," recognised team director Dominique Serieys. "Before losing ground following his puncture on Saturday morning, Nani was snapping at his compatriot’s heels and was only beaten on the first five stages by two former World Rally Champions as Sainz and McRae; not bad for someone who only recently switched from two to four wheels! We have to be lucid however. Both our cars ran extremely reliably, but beating Sainz on stages like this was never going to be easy. It’s now up to us to keep working to try and turn the tables on our rivals the next time we meet..."

The next outing for the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team is Spain’s Baja Espana (July 20-22), the second round of the FIA international Cup for Cross-Country Bajas for which the 2007 Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel (France) will join forces with Nani Roma.

The team’s FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup programme then resumes with the Por las Pampas Rally in Argentina (Round 3, August 27-September 5) and the series’ final fixture, the UAE Desert Challenge (Round 4, October 27-November 2). Alphand will be partnered by Japan’s Hiroshi Masuoka in South America and then by Nani Roma and Stéphane Peterhansel in the United Arab Emirates.


 FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Carlos Sainz
Michel Perin
Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 13:33:41.8 **:**.*
2 Joan Roma
Lucas Cruz
Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 13:41:24.3 +7:42.5
3 Carlos Sousa
Andreas Schulz
Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 13:49:21.9 +15:40.1
4 Luc Alphand
Gilles Picard
Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 13:51:10.2 +17:28.4
5 Filipe Campos
Jaime Baptista
Proto Dessoude  14:27:57.1 +54:15.3
6 Helder Oliveira
Nuno da Silva
Toyota Land Cruiser 15:13:52.3 +1:40:10.5
7 Nuno Inocencio
Sergio Cosme
Mitsubishi Pajero 15:28:01.6 +1:54:19.8
8 Maurizio Traglio
Erika Pajer
Nissan Pathfinder 15:36:41.7 +2:02:59.9
9 Balazs Szalay
Laszlo Bunkoczi
Opel Antara 15:40:14.8 +2:06:33.0
10 Francesc Termens
Jordi Vilalta
Mitsubishi Montero EVO CUP 15:54:11.3 +2:20:29.5
11 Lino Carapeta
Ricardo Corticadas
Bowler Wildcat 16:08:56.2 +2:35:14.4
12 Americo Santos
Joao Salgueiro
Nissan Pick-up 16:18:15.1 +2:44:33.3
13 Paulo Martins
Antonio Morais
Nissan Navara Challenge 16:29:14.7 +2:55:32.9
14 Ricardo Leal dos Santos
 
Mitsubishi Pajero 16:35:37.7 +3:01:55.9
15 Andreu Gonzalez
Janina Gonzalez
Mitsubishi Montero 16:38:28.4 +3:04:46.6
16 Rodrigo Amaral
Duarte Amaral
Bowler Wildcat 16:44:27.3 +3:10:45.5
17 Jose Lucas
Luis Tirano
Mercedes Benz ML 430 16:53:49.6 +3:20:07.8
18 Frederico Roque
Filipe Fernandes
Isuzu Rodeo 17:04:25.2 +3:30:43.4
19 Ceu Lima
Rui Lopes
Toyota Land Cruiser 17:05:35.3 +3:31:53.5
20 Jerome Pelichet
Eugenie Decre
Bowler Wildcat 200 17:13:41.4 +3:39:59.6
21 Enrique Reyes
Ramiro Pedrol
Mitsubishi Montero EVO CUP 17:19:44.7 +3:46:02.9
22 Claude Surret
Jean-Louis Lacassagne
Bowler Wildcat 17:32:49.2 +3:59:07.4
23 Alexandra Gameiro
Isabel Robalo
Nissan Pick-up 18:33:47.7 +5:00:05.9
24 Nuno Faria
Joao Martins
Nissan Navara TTMB 18:36:44.1 +5:03:02.3
25 Carlos Silva
Luú Amaral
Mitsubishi Pajero 19:00:32.1 +5:26:50.3
26 Jose Barreto
Ana Conceicao
Nissan Navara TTMB 19:08:00.8 +5:34:18.10
27 Adelio Machado
Paulo Torres
Toyota Land Cruiser 19:19:52.4 +5:46:10.6
28 Afonso Batista
Álvaro Velhinho
Mitsubishi Pajero 20:32:51.3 +6:59:09.5
29 Miguel Agullo
Carlos Vazquez
Nissan Navara Challenge 24:45:12.8 +11:11:30.10
30 Colin McRae
Jean-Marc Fortin
Nissan Navara 33:56:15.0 +20:22:33.2


 SS6 CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Stage
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Colin McRae
Jean-Marc Fortin
Nissan Navara 1:41:42 **:**.*
2 Luc Alphand
Gilles Picard
Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 1:42:15 +33
3 Carlos Sousa
Andreas Schulz
Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 1:42:21 +39
4 Carlos Sainz
Michel Perin
Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 1:43:01 +1:19
5 Filipe Campos
Jaime Baptista
Proto Dessoude  1:44:31 +2:49
6 Miguel Barbosa
Miguel Ramalho
Proto Dessoude  1:45:11 +3:29
7 Boris Gadasin
Alexandre Mironenko
Proto Dessoude  1:45:28 +3:46
8 Joan Roma
Lucas Cruz
Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 1:45:36 +3:54
9 Rui Sousa
Carlos Silva
Proto D-Max 1:46:38 +4:56
10 Joao Ramos
Vitor Jesus
Toyota Rav 4 1:46:47 +5:05
11 Nuno Inocencio
Sergio Cosme
Mitsubishi Pajero 1:49:46 +8:04
12 Nelson Clemente
JosEnbsp;Marques
Nissan Pick-up 1:51:21 +9:39
13 Miguel Farrajota
Nelson Ramos
Nissan Navara 1:53:08 +11:26
14 Balazs Szalay
Laszlo Bunkoczi
Opel Antara 1:53:30 +11:48
15 Bernardo da Maia
Bernardo Mayor
Proto Dessoude  1:53:54 +12:12
16 Helder Oliveira
Nuno da Silva
Toyota Land Cruiser 1:54:43 +13:01
17 Rodrigo Amaral
Duarte Amaral
Bowler Wildcat 1:55:07 +13:25
18 Ricardo Leal dos Santos
 
Mitsubishi Pajero 1:55:18 +13:36
19 Francesc Termens
Jordi Vilalta
Mitsubishi Montero EVO CUP 1:58:53 +17:11
20 Jose Gameiro
Antonio Saraiva
Toyota Land Cruiser 2:00:56 +19:14


 SS7 CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Stage
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Luc Alphand
Gilles Picard
Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero MPR13 1:36:52 **:**.*
2 Colin McRae
Jean-Marc Fortin
Nissan Navara 1:37:17 +25
3 Joan Roma
Lucas Cruz
Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero MPR13 1:37:49 +57
4 Carlos Sainz
Michel Perin
Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 1:37:59 +1:07
5 Carlos Sousa
Andreas Schulz
Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 1:38:50 +1:58
6 Miguel Barbosa
Miguel Ramalho
Proto Dessoude  1:42:11 +5:19
7 Filipe Campos
Jaime Baptista
Proto Dessoude  1:43:46 +6:54
8 Boris Gadasin
Alexandre Mironenko
Proto Dessoude  1:44:03 +7:11
9 Nelson Clemente
JosEnbsp;Marques
Nissan Pick-up 1:50:11 +13:19
10 Balazs Szalay
Laszlo Bunkoczi
Opel Antara 1:51:55 +15:03
11 Maurizio Traglio
Erika Pajer
Nissan Pathfinder 1:52:17 +15:25
12 Nuno Inocencio
Sergio Cosme
Mitsubishi Pajero 1:52:37 +15:45
13 Miguel Farrajota
Nelson Ramos
Nissan Navara 1:52:41 +15:49
14 Helder Oliveira
Nuno da Silva
Toyota Land Cruiser 1:53:26 +16:34
15 Francesc Termens
Jordi Vilalta
Mitsubishi Montero EVO CUP 1:56:24 +19:32
16 Jose Ruas
Rui Leitao
Nissan Navara 1:59:43 +22:51
17 Jose Gameiro
Antonio Saraiva
Toyota Land Cruiser 1:59:55 +23:03
18 Americo Santos
Joao Salgueiro
Nissan Pick-up 2:00:16 +23:24
19 Rodrigo Amaral
Duarte Amaral
Bowler Wildcat 2:00:36 +23:44
20 Lino Carapeta
Ricardo Corticadas
Bowler Wildcat 2:01:01 +24:09


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