MITSUBISHI MOTORS

RALLI ART

Report
FIA PRODUCTION CAR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 8: WALES RALLY GB
2 DECEMBER 2007
LEG 3
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVER WILKS RULES WALES AND WINS BRITISH TITLE PWRC CLASSIFICATION
FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

GUY WILKS / PHIL PUGH
 

JUHO HANNINEN / MIKKO MARKKULA
 

MARK HIGGINS / SCOTT MARTIN
 
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution driver Guy Wilks (Unted Kingdom) completed a faultless final leg to win the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship category of this year’s Wales Rally Great Britain, which ended in Cardiff this afternoon.

Wilks’ first win at the highest level of Group N competition was worth more than 10 Production points, however, as this final WRC round doubled as the last event in the British Rally Championship calendar; Wilks’ Welsh success delivered his maiden British title. He and co-driver Phil Pugh (Unted Kingdom) were understandably delighted when they returned to Cardiff after four exceptionally difficult stages on this final loop.

Despite being mindful of what was at stake, Wilks still pushed hard in his Lancer Evolution, collecting fastest time in the morning run through Trawscoed. As they had been for the previous days, the conditions were typical of this event at this time of the year. The squalling rain, mist and fog left the fast forest tracks resembling a mud bath for much of the event. Despite those exceptionally tricky conditions, Wilks and fellow Mitsubishi drivers Juho Hanninen (Finland), Mark Higgins (Unted Kingdom) and Alessandro Bettega (Italy) locked-out the top four places on what had been one of the most demanding rounds of the world championship.

"It’s a fantastic result for me and for the team," said Wilks. "I knew what I had to do here, but at the same time there was a Production win on offer. What was satisfying was that I was able to win the class, while controlling the pace and making sure we didn’t jeopardize the British title. It has been a really tricky event, with a bit of everything – like you expect from Rally GB. The dark stage on Friday was really hard work: the bolts on our spotlights had worked loose. They fell off with about five kilometers to go, leaving us with virtually no light at all. Like I said, the tough conditions have made this really hard, but they have also made the win more satisfying. Awesome!"

Juho Hanninen moved into second place in Group N, passing fellow Mitsubishi driver Mark Higgins in the first stage of the day. Hanninen saved his best performance for the final day, posting fastest time in three of the leg’s four stages – ensuring the Lancer Evolution remained unbeaten through the last day of the world championship season.

Bettega was pleased with his accomplished drive on his Production Car debut aboard a Lancer Evolution, saying: "The roads have been tough again today. The weather has been a little bit crazy some times, like today the rain coming from nowhere. But hey, we are here and the car has been very good for me."

Armindo Araujo (Portugal) was robbed of his fifth place in Production WRC by two punctures on the first run through Trawscoed. He would end the event one place further back in the world series. "I couldn’t believe it!" said Araujo. "Not one but two tires going down. There were many rocks everywhere, it was very hard to miss them."

One position further back in Production WRC was Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) after a steady run in his Lancer Evolutuon.

It was another great performance by Mitsubishi drivers overall, with six of the top 10 Group N places taken by Lancer Evolutions.

Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) won the event, taking his third maximum score of the season, while team-mate Marcus Gronholm (Finland) was second. Sebastien Loeb (France) collected third place, which was enough for him to win his fourth consecutive world title.


 FINAL PWRC CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Guy Wilks
Phil Pugh
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:44:23.7 **:**.*
2 Juho Hanninen
Mikko Markkula
FIN
FIN
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:44:57.9 +34.2
3 Mark Higgins
Scott Martin
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:46:10.2 +1:46.5
4 Alessandro Bettega
Simone Scattolin
I
I
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:49:47.3 +5:23.6
5 David Higgins
Leuan Thomas
GB
GB
Subaru Impreza 3:51:32.8 +7:09.1
6 Mirco Baldacci
Giovanni Agnese
RSM
I
Subaru Impreza 3:53:12.8 +8:49.1
7 Armindo Araujo
Miguel Ramalho
P
P
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:00:48.9 +16:25.2
8 Stepan Vojtech
Michal Ernst
CZ
CZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:02:31.4 +18:07.7
9 Andreas Aigner
Klaus Wicha
A
D
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:07:01.2 +22:37.5
10 Loris Baldacci
Rudy Pollet
RSM
I
Subaru Impreza 4:14:28.3 +30:04.6
11 Travis Pastrana
Bjorn Edstrom
USA
USA
Subaru Impreza WRX Sti 4:18:10.3 +33:46.6
12 Gwyndaf Evans
Huw Lewis
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:18:37.4 +34:13.7
13 Martin Rauam
Kristo Kraag
EE
EE
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:42:06.8 +57:43.1


 FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
FIN
FIN
Ford Focus RS WRC 07 A
1
3:22:50.9 **:**.*
2
M
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
FIN
FIN
Ford Focus RS WRC 07 A
2
3:23:06.1 +15.2
3
M
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
F
MC
Citroen C4 WRC A
3
3:24:23.9 +1:33.0
4
M
Petter Solberg
Philip Mills
N
GB
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
4
3:25:48.2 +2:57.3
5
M
Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
E
E
Citroen C4 WRC A
5
3:26:05.2 +3:14.3
6 Matthew Wilson
Michael Orr
GB
GB
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
6
3:30:23.8 +7:32.9
7
M
Chris Atkinson
Stephane Prevot
AUS
B
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
7
3:31:20.4 +8:29.5
8
MT
Manfred Stohl
Ilka Minor
A
A
Citroen Xsara WRC A
8
3:31:45.5 +8:54.6
9 Xavier Pons
Xavier Amigo
E
E
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
9
3:32:39.7 +9:48.8
10
MT
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
FIN
FIN
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
10
3:33:33.3 +10:42.4
11 Mads Ostberg
Ole Kristian Unnerud
N
N
Subaru Impreza WRC A
11
3:33:34.8 +10:43.9
12 Jan Kopecky
Filip Schovanek
CZ
CZ
Skoda Fabia WRC A
12
3:35:37.5 +12:46.6
13
P
Guy Wilks
Phil Pugh
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
1
3:44:23.7 +21:32.8
14
MT
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
N
N
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
13
3:44:53.7 +22:02.8
15
P
Juho Hanninen
Mikko Markkula
FIN
FIN
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
2
3:44:57.9 +22:07.0
16
P
Mark Higgins
Scott Martin
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
3
3:46:10.2 +23:19.3
17
P
Alessandro Bettega
Simone Scattolin
I
I
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
4
3:49:47.3 +26:56.4
18
MT
Federico Villagra
Jorge Perez Companc
RA
RA
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
14
3:50:38.8 +27:47.9
19
P
David Higgins
Leuan Thomas
GB
GB
Subaru Impreza N
5
3:51:32.8 +28:41.9
20 Martin Prokop
Jan Tomanek
CZ
CZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
6
3:53:03.7 +30:12.8
../
23
P
Armindo Araujo
Miguel Ramalho
P
P
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
9
4:00:48.9 +37:58.0
25
P
Stepan Vojtech
Michal Ernst
CZ
CZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
11
4:02:31.4 +39:40.5
27 Jasper Van den Heuvel
Martine Kolman
NL
NL
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
12
4:03:14.6 +40:23.7
28
P
Andreas Aigner
Klaus Wicha
A
D
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
13
4:07:01.2 +44:10.3
29 Peter Van Merksteijn Jr
Eddy Chevaillier
NL
B
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
14
4:08:46.6 +45:55.7
30 Gavin Cox
Tim Hobbs
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI N
15
4:09:57.3 +47:06.4
31 Hans Weijs jr
Hans Van Goor
NL
NL
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
16
4:10:11.9 +47:21.0
41
P
Gwyndaf Evans
Huw Lewis
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
23
4:18:37.4 +55:46.5
42 Stephen Petch
Michael Wilkinson
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
24
4:23:54.6 +1:01:03.7
46 Peter Stephenson
I Windress
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
26
4:27:29.4 +1:04:38.5
47 Jonathan Greer
Jonny Hart
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
27
4:27:42.2 +1:04:51.3
48 Subhan Aksa
Hendrik Mboi
RI
RI
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
28
4:27:54.8 +1:05:03.9
50 Reijo Muhonen
Jorma Kopsa
FIN
FIN
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
30
4:34:07.8 +1:11:16.9
51 Jaap Sinke
Pascal Meijs
NL
NL
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V N
31
4:36:19.0 +1:13:28.1
54 Wout Hazeleger
Bert Bloemendaal
NL
NL
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
33
4:38:14.3 +1:15:23.4
55 Rob Gill
Neil Dashfield
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
34
4:40:11.7 +1:17:20.8
56 Brian Green
Fleur Pedersen
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
35
4:41:35.4 +1:18:44.5
57 Miles Johnston
Ian Bevan
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
36
4:41:57.4 +1:19:06.5
58
P
Martin Rauam
Kristo Kraag
EE
EE
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
37
4:42:06.8 +1:19:15.9
61 David Meredith
David Roberts
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
40
4:44:14.5 +1:21:23.6
71 Hugh Evans
Iestyn Williams
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
48
5:01:31.0 +1:38:40.1
79 Mandy Bowman
Kenneth Bowman
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V N
55
5:12:32.4 +1:49:41.5


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