MITSUBISHI MOTORS

RALLI ART

Report
FIA PRODUCTION CAR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 8: WALES RALLY GB
1 DECEMBER 2007
LEG 2
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVERS FILL SEVEN OF THE TOP EIGHT PLACES IN WALES PWRC CLASSIFICATION
LEG 2 OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

GUY WILKS / PHIL PUGH
 

MARK HIGGINS / SCOTT MARTIN
 

JUHO HANNINEN / MIKKO MARKKULA
 
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution drivers maintained their dominance of Wales Rally Great Britain, despite more challenging conditions in the mid-Wales stages. Today included six gravel stages around the Epynt military ranges, north of the rally’s base in Cardiff, before the crowd-pleasing superspecial in a packed Millennium Stadium in the city. Guy Wilks (United Kingdom) maintained his advantage at the head of the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship, with Lancer Evolutions filling the top five positions.

Mitsubishi drivers were fastest on all of the day’s forest stages, with Wilks delighted with his second leg performance aboard his Lancer. While Wilks is registered for points in the Production car category, his main priority is the British Rally Championship, of which Wales Rally GB is also a qualifying round.

"The car has been faultless all day," he said. "The times which we are setting against the regular Production Car drivers have been really good. That’s been a real positive for us, particularly as I have backed off a bit today. We’ve found a good rhythm through the stages and we’re not taking any chances. This morning was good, we found really good grip in the first two stages. There wasn’t any rain, which meant we didn’t have the standing water to worry about which had been there through leg one."

Behind Wilks was his main challenger for the British title in Mark Higgins (United Kingdom). Higgins’ day was similarly trouble-free, but his pace was being dictated by the man ahead of him.

"Even if I win and beat Guy Wilks in the stages, he only has to finish third to be British champion," said Higgins. "That leaves me in a difficult position. I’m not going to push to try and beat Guy, all I can do is stay where I am, not make any mistakes and hope that something goes wrong for him. It’s not a nice position to be in, but that’s the way it is."

Juho Hanninen (Finland) was on good form through the second day, posting fastest times in two of the morning’s three stages to move up to third place in Group N. Hanninen was much happier than he had been through yesterday’s opening day. He said: "Everything has been a bit easier today. Without all of the fog and the rain which we had yesterday, I have enjoyed the driving more in these stages."

The drivers generally preferred today’s three stages – all run twice – with their faster and more flowing nature, compared with the tight, technical and more twisty tests on Friday. One man who had, perhaps, enjoyed the Epynt stage a little more than he should was Alessandro Bettega (Italy), who dropped time after a jump in SS8. He remained fourth in Production at the end of the day, though.

"My note wasn’t quite right for a jump in the second stage today," said Bettega. "The car flew much higher than I thought it would. Then it landed very heavily on the left-front which damaged the suspension and sump guard. It cost me a little time, but it was my fault – I was going too fast!"

Portuguese driver Armindo Araujo (Portugal) was another Mitsubishi man to improve on his leg one position by moving up to fifth in Production. Behind Araujo, Martin Prokop (Czech Republic)) and Andreas Aigner (Austria) ensured there was seven Lancer Evolutions in the top eight point-scoring positions.

Tomorrow maybe the shortest of the three legs, but it remains exceptionally challenging. The Brechfa and Trawscoed stages, north of the rally’s base in Cardiff, are among the most technical on the event. But making them even more difficult this time will be the continued wet weather.

Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) maintained his lead at the front of the event, with Marcus Gronholm (Finland) in second place and Sebastien Loeb (France) still third and on course for a fourth consecutive drivers’ World Rally Championship title.


 PWRC CLASSIFICATION AFTER LEG 2
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Guy Wilks
Phil Pugh
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:31:51.4 **:**.*
2 Mark Higgins
Scott Martin
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:32:59.1 +1:07.7
3 Juho Hanninen
Mikko Markkula
FIN
FIN
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:33:18.5 +1:27.1
4 Alessandro Bettega
Simone Scattolin
I
I
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:35:55.2 +4:03.8
5 Armindo Araujo
Miguel Ramalho
P
P
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:37:25.5 +5:34.1
6 David Higgins
Leuan Thomas
GB
GB
Subaru Impreza 2:38:06.5 +6:15.1
7 Andreas Aigner
Klaus Wicha
A
D
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:39:11.9 +7:20.5
8 Mirco Baldacci
Giovanni Agnese
RSM
I
Subaru Impreza 2:39:39.9 +7:48.5
9 Evgeniy Vertunov
Georgy Troshkin
RUS
RUS
Subaru Impreza WRX Sti 2:42:59.6 +11:08.2
10 Stepan Vojtech
Michal Ernst
CZ
CZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:46:43.0 +14:51.6
11 Stuart Jones
Andy Bull
GB
GB
MG S2000 Sport 2:47:52.4 +16:01.0
12 Patrik Flodin
Maria Andersson
S
S
Subaru Impreza 2:49:50.3 +17:58.9
13 Gwyndaf Evans
Huw Lewis
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:51:54.7 +20:03.3
14 Leszek Kuzaj
Craig Parry
POL
GB
Subaru Impreza 2:51:59.4 +20:08.0
15 Loris Baldacci
Rudy Pollet
RSM
I
Subaru Impreza 2:55:43.7 +23:52.3
16 Spyros Pavlides
Denis Giraudet
CYP
F
Subaru Impreza WRX Sti 3:00:12.4 +28:21.0
17 Travis Pastrana
Bjorn Edstrom
USA
USA
Subaru Impreza WRX Sti 3:01:33.5 +29:42.1
18 Hayden Paddon
John Kennard
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:20:48.8 +48:57.4
19 Martin Rauam
Kristo Kraag
EE
EE
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:21:36.8 +49:45.4


 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
2:16:27.3 **:**.*
2
M
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
FIN
FIN
Ford Focus RS WRC 07 A
2
2:17:02.8 +35.5
3
M
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
F
MC
Citroen C4 WRC A
3
2:17:42.3 +1:15.0
4
M
Petter Solberg
Philip Mills
N
GB
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
4
2:18:53.6 +2:26.3
5
M
Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
E
E
Citroen C4 WRC A
5
2:19:24.2 +2:56.9
6
M
Chris Atkinson
Stephane Prevot
AUS
B
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
6
2:22:17.2 +5:49.9
7 Matthew Wilson
Michael Orr
GB
GB
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
7
2:22:27.2 +5:59.9
8
MT
Manfred Stohl
Ilka Minor
A
A
Citroen Xsara WRC A
8
2:23:22.7 +6:55.4
9 Xavier Pons
Xavier Amigo
E
E
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
9
2:24:13.7 +7:46.4
10 Mads Ostberg
Ole Kristian Unnerud
N
N
Subaru Impreza WRC A
10
2:25:55.9 +9:28.6
11 Jan Kopecky
Filip Schovanek
CZ
CZ
Skoda Fabia WRC A
11
2:26:06.4 +9:39.1
12
MT
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
FIN
FIN
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
12
2:26:46.8 +10:19.5
13
MT
Luis Perez Companc
Jose Maria Volta
RA
RA
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
13
2:29:48.2 +13:20.9
14
P
Guy Wilks
Phil Pugh
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
1
2:31:51.4 +15:24.1
15
P
Mark Higgins
Scott Martin
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
2
2:32:59.1 +16:31.8
16
P
Juho Hanninen
Mikko Markkula
FIN
FIN
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
3
2:33:18.5 +16:51.2
17
P
Alessandro Bettega
Simone Scattolin
I
I
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
4
2:35:55.2 +19:27.9
18
MT
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
N
N
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
14
2:37:15.4 +20:48.1
19
P
Armindo Araujo
Miguel Ramalho
P
P
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
5
2:37:25.5 +20:58.2
20 Gareth Jones
David Moynihan
GB
IRL
Ford Focus RS WRC 04 A
15
2:37:26.0 +20:58.7
../
23 Martin Prokop
Jan Tomanek
CZ
CZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
7
2:38:14.7 +21:47.4
24
P
Andreas Aigner
Klaus Wicha
A
D
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
8
2:39:11.9 +22:44.6
30
P
Stepan Vojtech
Michal Ernst
CZ
CZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
14
2:46:43.0 +30:15.7
31 Jasper Van den Heuvel
Martine Kolman
NL
NL
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
15
2:46:57.9 +30:30.6
34 Gavin Cox
Tim Hobbs
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI N
18
2:50:08.4 +33:41.1
35 Peter Van Merksteijn Jr
Eddy Chevaillier
NL
B
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
19
2:50:45.8 +34:18.5
38
P
Gwyndaf Evans
Huw Lewis
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
21
2:51:54.7 +35:27.4
43 Hans Weijs jr
Hans Van Goor
NL
NL
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
25
2:53:35.6 +37:08.3
44 Subhan Aksa
Hendrik Mboi
RI
RI
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
26
2:54:13.3 +37:46.0
54 Peter Stephenson
I Windress
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
32
3:04:46.6 +48:19.3
55 Stephen Petch
Michael Wilkinson
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
33
3:05:52.8 +49:25.5
57 Reijo Muhonen
Jorma Kopsa
FIN
FIN
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
35
3:07:14.7 +50:47.4
60 Jonathan Greer
Jonny Hart
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
37
3:10:45.6 +54:18.3
63 Jaap Sinke
Pascal Meijs
NL
NL
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V N
38
3:13:30.0 +57:02.7
64 Rob Gill
Neil Dashfield
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
39
3:13:33.8 +57:06.5
65 Brian Green
Fleur Pedersen
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
40
3:13:37.9 +57:10.6
66 Wout Hazeleger
Bert Bloemendaal
NL
NL
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
41
3:16:47.0 +1:00:19.7
67 Miles Johnston
Ian Bevan
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
42
3:16:56.9 +1:00:29.6
68 David Meredith
David Roberts
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
43
3:18:16.7 +1:01:49.4
72
P
Hayden Paddon
John Kennard
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
47
3:20:48.8 +1:04:21.5
75
P
Martin Rauam
Kristo Kraag
EE
EE
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
50
3:21:36.8 +1:05:09.5
84 Mandy Bowman
Kenneth Bowman
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V N
58
3:30:32.3 +1:14:05.0
89 Hugh Evans
Iestyn Williams
GB
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
63
3:33:11.5 +1:16:44.2


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