MITSUBISHI MOTORS

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Report
RALLYE MONTE-CARLO
20 JANUARY 2007
LEG 3
MITSUBISHI LANCER DRIVER GARDEMEISTER TAKES POINTS FROM MONTE CARLO  

TONI GARDEMEISTER / JAKKE HONKANEN
 

XAVIER PONS / XAVIER AMIGO
 
 
Finnish driver Toni Gardemeister made his debut in a Mitsubishi Lancer WRC on this week’s Monte Carlo Rally. Despite his inexperience of the car – he only drove it for 90 kilometers before the start – he spent much of the event challenging for fourth position. Unfortunately for Gardemeister and co-driver Jakke Honkanen, they slipped down the order on Saturday’s third leg, eventually ending the event in seventh position.

Gardemeister was delighted with the performance of the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC, and posted top six times regularly throughout the opening round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship, which was based in Valence, rather than the principality of Monaco. The event had undergone extensive changes, the main one being the move to the Ardeche region, 400 kilometers north of Alpes-Maritimes, the traditional home of the rally. The event did visit Monte Carlo, when the competitors tackled the lower half of the world famous grand prix circuit this morning.

Gardemeister said: "I have enjoyed this event. The Mitsubishi has been very good for me. The car ran without any problems through the rally. It took me some time to get used to the Mitsubishi as I hadn’t competed in it before, but it was very stable and nice to drive. We had a small brake problem in some of the faster stages. I’m not sure what was the cause, but it was not a technical problem with the brakes. The fight for fourth place was very hard, everybody was pushing to the limit. I usually go well in the changeable conditions, which are usually typical of this rally, but this time the weather was not quite so normal. We had some damp stages, but there was no snow at all, which wasn’t really like the normal Monte Carlo."

Gardemeister’s team-mate Xevi Pons damaged the transmission on the first stage on Friday morning, forcing him to continue in the event under the Superally regulations, which dropped the Spaniard’s Mitsubishi Lancer WRC down the field to 25th at the end.

There was more success for Mitsubishi in the Group N category, where the Lancer Evolution IXs of Richard Frau and Jean-Paul Ayme clinched the second and third podium spots in a typically hard-fought battle for production glory.

"It was a strange Monte Carlo," said Frau. "The weather was always so warm, it was odd for this event. I didn’t have the right set-up in the front differential, which was causing my tires to be worn too quickly, but otherwise it was good. There were so many spectators, it was incredible at times. I have really enjoyed the rally and it was very good to compete on the grand prix track at the finish as well."

Frenchman Sebastien Loeb and his Monegasque co-driver Daniel Elena celebrated their return to the sport, after Loeb broke his arm in September, with a fourth Monte Carlo victory from five starts. Citroen took a one-two on the debut of the C4 WRC, as Dani Sordo clinched the runners-up spot ahead of Marcus Gronholm’s Ford.

The next round of the FIA World Rally Championship is the Swedish Rally, February 8-11.


 OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
Citroen C4 A
1
3:10:27.4 **:**.*
2
M
Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
Citroen C4 A
2
3:11:05.6 +38.2
3
M
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
3
3:11:50.2 +1:22.8
4
M
Chris Atkinson
Glenn MacNeall
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
4
3:12:55.5 +2:28.1
5
M
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
5
3:12:55.7 +2:28.3
6
M
Petter Solberg
Philip Mills
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
6
3:13:39.4 +3:12.0
7 Toni Gardemeister
Jakke Honkanen
Mitsubishi Lancer WR05 A
7
3:14:05.5 +3:38.1
8 Jan Kopecky
Filip Schovanek
Skoda Fabia WRC A
8
3:15:06.8 +4:39.4
9 Jean-Marie Cuoq
David Marty
Peugeot 307 WRC A
9
3:16:27.1 +5:59.7
10 Manfred Stohl
Ilka Minor
Citroen Xsara WRC A
10
3:17:04.7 +6:37.3
11 Gareth MacHale
Paul Nagle
Ford Focus WRC A
11
3:21:38.0 +11:10.6
12 Matthew Wilson
Michael Orr
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
12
3:23:38.4 +13:11.0
13 Frédéric Romeyer
Marie-Ange Lachand
Peugeot 307 WRC A
13
3:24:19.3 +13:51.9
14
MT
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
14
3:25:11.9 +14:44.5
15 Eamonn Boland
Francis Regan
Ford Focus WRC A
15
3:31:39.1 +21:11.7
16 Philippe Roux
Eric Jordan
Peugeot 307 WRC A
16
3:32:47.8 +22:20.4
17 Olivier Burri
Fabrice Gordon
Subaru Impreza N
1
3:32:56.6 +22:29.2
18 Martin Prokop
Jan Tomanek
Citroen C2 A
17
3:35:08.1 +24:40.7
19 Luca Betti
Giovanni Agnese
Renault Clio A
18
3:38:01.8 +27:34.4
20 Richard Frau
Serge Legars
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
2
3:38:32.5 +28:05.1
21 Jean-Paul Ayme
Brigitte Ayme
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
3
3:38:45.1 +28:17.7
22 Claude Carret
Jean-Rodolphe Guigonnet
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
4
3:40:36.1 +30:08.7
23 Patrick Artru
Cédric Soy
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
5
3:41:03.1 +30:35.7
24 Marc Amourette
Gwenola Marie
Citroen C2 R2 A
19
3:44:13.2 +33:45.8
25 Xavier Pons
Xavier Amigo
Mitsubishi Lancer WR05 A
20
3:45:39.9 +35:12.5
26 Chris Marti
Stephanie Marti
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI N
6
3:49:54.5 +39:27.1
27 Jerome Aymard
Sandrine Aymard
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
7
3:50:59.9 +40:32.5
28 Luc Dewinter
Nicolas Gilsoul
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
8
3:52:04.7 +41:37.3
29 Joan Font
Jordi Barrabes
Subaru Impreza N
9
3:53:20.5 +42:53.1
30 Pierre Marche
Julien Giroux
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
10
3:57:36.1 +47:08.7
31 Amaud Monnet
Bertrand Chagot
Peugeot 206 RC A
21
4:01:38.0 +51:10.6
32 Andrzej Mancin
Ryszard Ciupka
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
11
4:07:13.3 +56:45.9
33 Daniel Holczer
Gabor Macyar
Renault Clio A
22
4:08:36.6 +58:09.2
34 Flavio Castegnaro
Renzo Fraschia
Peugeot 206 RC A
23
4:08:46.9 +58:19.5
35 Miguel Baudouin
Frédéric Vauclare
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII N
12
4:08:58.8 +58:31.4
36 Lilian Vialle
Patrice Roissac
Renault cLIO A
24
4:11:28.2 +1:01:00.8
37 Stéphane Vouillon
Alexandre Pasta
Subaru Impreza STI N
13
4:14:09.1 +1:03:41.7
38 Frédéric Sauvan
Aymeric Duchemin
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
14
4:15:56.1 +1:05:28.7
39 Ricardo Errani
Stefano Casadio
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
15
4:16:46.4 +1:06:19.0


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