MITSUBISHI MOTORS

RALLI ART

Report
FIA PRODUCTION CAR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 5: RALLY NEW ZEALAND
02 SEPTEMBER 2007
LEG 3
MITSUBISHI LANCER SETS GROUP N PACE AND SCORES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINT PWRC CLASSIFICATION
LEG 3 OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

GABRIEL POZZO / MARIO STILLO
 
 

FUMIO NUTAHARA / DANIEL BARRITT
 
 

ARMINDO ARAUJO / MIGUEL RAMALHO
 
 
Urmo Aava (Estonia) demonstrated the reliability and performance of the Mitsubishi Lancer WR05 by taking a World Rally Championship point on Rally New Zealand, which ended in Hamilton this afternoon. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution had been the pace-setting machine for the majority of the rally in the Group N category, with Alister McRae (United Kingdom) setting a blistering speed along the North Island roads. Unfortunately for McRae, Group N category win was robbed when he suffered a puncture in the penultimate stage.

McRae had done everything right through this rally, judging his pace to perfection and finding the right balance between outright speed and consistency to keep his Lancer Evolution ahead of the rest of the field – which included the entire Production Car World Rally Championship (PWRC) entry. As the final day progressed, McRae continued to impress on his WRC rally return.

Mid-way through the leg, the former British champion was delighted with his Mitsubishi, saying: "This is a fantastic rally for me. I’ve really enjoyed coming back and driving the Lancer Evolution. The only problem we’ve had has been this tire in the rain. The tire seems to work in quite a small window. Without any rain, it’s getting too warm and going off, but then it’s not working so well with too much rain. We needed more of a cut in the tire this morning, but it’s okay."

Not long after that, McRae suffered a more rudimentary tire problem. He added: "We had about 10kms left in the stage. Going through a right-hand corner, there was a rock on the line. I saw that everybody else had gone over it, so I did the same. Then, bang, it went down straight away. When I turned into the next corner, I felt the tire come off the rim. There was nothing else for it. I had to stop and change. I am so disappointed. I came here with a new co-driver and new tires to learn about, we did that and led Group N for Mitsubshi. Now that’s all gone."

McRae eventually finished ninth in Group N. Gabriel Pozzo (Argentie) just missed out on a podium placing in the Production Car standings after a solid drive in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. His only problem was running tires which were too hard for the wet conditions which greeted crews on the stunning stages around Raglan.

The event’s final day carried the competitors through some of the most exciting roads and most stunning scenery in the 2007 World Rally Championship. Early this morning, the crews who had survived a difficult opening two days of this Rally New Zealand departed Hamilton early and headed out west to the roads which cling to the side of the Tasman coastline. Pictures from the legendary Whaanga Coast test are regularly beamed around the world, making this stage almost as famous as the event itself.

Running along the coast, however, brings constantly changing weather. It was the weather which caused Aava some trouble in his Lancer WRC05. Aava hadn’t tested the car in the rain and wasn’t sure how to get the best out of the Mitsubishi. He said: "It’s certainly nothing wrong with the car – the Lancer is going very well again today, but I’m not sure how to drive in this rain. It’s tough for me, but to get the point at the end was fantastic."

There were plenty more PWRC points for Mitsubishis, as Lancer Evolutions packed the placings, with Fumio Nutahara (Japan), Armindo Araujo (Portugal), Juho Hanninen (Finland) and Martin Rauam (Estonia) all taking points home from their trip south of the equator. After a troubled season, Nutahara was particularly pleased with his performance, saying: "The rain is helping our tire a little bit. I have enjoyed the twistier stages today and we made a change with the car’s set-up last night which has helped us to go event faster."

At the front of the field, Ford’s Marcus Gronholm (Finland) won the closest WRC round ever, beating Sebastien Loeb (France, Citroen) by just 0.3 seconds. Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) was third.

The next round of the PWRC is Rally Japan (October 26-28).


 PWRC CLASSIFICATION AFTER LEG 3
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Toshihiro Arai
Tony Sircombe
J
NZ
Subaru Impreza 4:13:35.8 **:**.*
2 Niall McShea
Gordon Noble
GB
GB
Subaru Impreza WRX STi 4:13:38.4 +2.6
3 Richard Mason
Sara Randall
NZ
NZ
Subaru Impreza WRX STi 4:14:46.0 +1:10.2
4 Gabriel Pozzo
Daniel Stillo
RA
RA
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:14:48.9 +1:13.1
5 Fumio Nutahara
Daniel Barritt
J
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:14:55.7 +1:19.9
6 Armindo Araujo
Miguel Ramalho
P
P
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:15:16.0 +1:40.2
7 Juho Hanninen
Mikko Markkula
FIN
FIN
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:15:46.9 +2:11.1
8 Martin Rauam
Kristo Kraag
EE
EE
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:16:15.2 +2:39.4
9 Fabio Frisiero
Simone Scattolin
I
I
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:19:16.3 +5:40.5
10 Andrej Jereb
Miran Kacin
SLO
SLO
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:22:23.2 +8:47.4
11 Evgenly Vertunov
Georgy Troshkin
RUS
RUS
Subaru Impreza WRX STi 4:25:15.6 +11:39.8
12 Misfer Al-Marri
Chris Patterson
QAT
GB
Subaru Impreza WRX STi 4:27:44.5 +14:08.7
13 Emma Gilmour
Glenn Macneall
NZ
AUS
Subaru Impreza WRX STi 4:28:22.4 +14:46.6
14 Amjad Farrah
Nicola Arena
HKJ
I
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 4:29:26.6 +15:50.8
15 Mirco Baldacci
Giovanni Agnese
RSM
I
Subaru Impreza WRX STi 4:30:43.8 +17:08.0
16 Loris Baldacci
Silvio Stefanelli
RSM
RSM
Subaru Impreza WRX STi 4:35:07.0 +21:31.2
17 Hayden Paddon
John Kennard
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII 4:52:24.8 +38:49.0
18 Spyros Pavlides
Denis Giraudet
CYP
F
Subaru Impreza WRX STi 4:53:09.6 +39:33.8
19 Stepan Vojtech
Michal Ernst
CZ
CZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 5:05:02.9 +51:27.1


 FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M
Marcus Gronholm
Timo Rautiainen
FIN
FIN
Ford Focus RS WRC 07 A
1
3:52:53.9 **:**.*
2
M
Sébastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
F
MC
Citroen C4 WRC A
2
3:52:54.2 +0.3
3
M
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
FIN
FIN
Ford Focus RS WRC 07 A
3
3:54:36.7 +1:42.8
4
M
Chris Atkinson
Stephane Prevot
AUS
B
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
4
3:55:26.2 +2:32.3
5
MT
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
FIN
FIN
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
5
3:55:30.8 +2:36.9
6
M
Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
E
E
Citroen C4 WRC A
6
3:56:35.9 +3:42.0
7
M
Petter Solberg
Philip Mills
N
GB
Subaru Impreza WRC 2006 A
7
3:56:48.6 +3:54.7
8 Urmo Aava
Kuldar Sikk
EE
EE
Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 05 A
8
4:02:10.2 +9:16.3
9
MT
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
N
N
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
9
4:02:48.5 +9:54.6
10 Matthew Wilson
Michael Orr
GB
GB
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
10
4:03:13.8 +10:19.9
11
MT
Federico Villagra
Jorge Perez Companc
RA
RA
Ford Focus RS WRC 06 A
11
4:09:11.6 +16:17.7
12
MT
Manfred Stohl
Ilka Minor
A
A
Citroen Xsara WRC A
12
4:09:44.9 +16:51.0
13
P
Toshihiro Arai
Tony Sircombe
J
NZ
Subaru Impreza N
1
4:13:35.8 +20:41.9
14
P
Niall McShea
Gordon Noble
GB
GB
Subaru Impreza WRX STi N
2
4:13:38.4 +20:44.5
15
P
Richard Mason
Sara Randall
NZ
NZ
Subaru Impreza WRX STi N
3
4:14:46.0 +21:52.1
16
P
Gabriel Pozzo
Daniel Stillo
RA
RA
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
4
4:14:48.9 +21:55.0
17
P
Fumio Nutahara
Daniel Barritt
J
GB
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
5
4:14:55.7 +22:01.8
18
P
Armindo Araujo
Miguel Ramalho
P
P
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
6
4:15:16.0 +22:22.1
19
P
Juho Hanninen
Mikko Markkula
FIN
FIN
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
7
4:15:46.9 +22:53.0
20 Sam Murray
Rob Ryan
NZ
NZ
Subaru Impreza WRX STi N
8
4:16:03.2 +23:09.3
../
21 Alister McRae
Erin Kyle
GB
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
9
4:16:13.3 +23:19.4
22
P
Martin Rauam
Kristo Kraag
EE
EE
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
10
4:16:15.2 +23:21.3
24 Brett Martin
Grant Marra
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
11
4:18:14.4 +25:20.5
25
P
Fabio Frisiero
Simone Scattolin
I
I
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
12
4:19:16.3 +26:22.4
26
P
Andrej Jereb
Miran Kacin
SLO
SLO
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
13
4:22:23.2 +29:29.3
27 Malcolm Stewart
Mike Fletcher
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution A
14
4:23:27.3 +30:33.4
29 Patrick Malley
Raymond Bennett
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
15
4:25:29.6 +32:35.7
32 Glenn Inkster
Glenn Goldring
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution A
15
4:28:21.1 +35:27.2
34
P
Amjad Farrah
Nicola Arena
HKJ
I
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
19
4:29:26.6 +36:32.7
35 Stewart Taylor
Warwick Searle
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
20
4:29:38.5 +36:44.6
37 Dylan Turner
Sandeep Bansal
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
22
4:30:54.0 +38:00.1
39 Kevin Shaw
Toni Feaver
IRL
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution A
16
4:31:38.9 +38:45.0
40 Subhan Aksa
Hendrik Mboi
RI
RI
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
24
4:32:12.9 +39:19.0
42 Scott Pedder
Glen Weston
AUS
AUS
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
26
4:37:03.6 +44:09.7
46 Patrick Christian
Robert Christian
F
F
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIIi N
30
4:42:35.1 +49:41.2
47 Chris West
Gary Cowen
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
31
4:46:03.1 +53:09.2
48 Nathan Thomas
Richard Kelly
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N
32
4:52:04.6 +59:10.7
49
P
Hayden Paddon
John Kennard
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
33
4:52:24.8 +59:30.9
51 Piran Pigneguy
Graeme Swan
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution A
17
4:54:25.5 +1:01:31.6
55
P
Stepan Vojtech
Michal Ernst
CZ
CZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX N
38
5:05:02.9 +1:12:09.0
57 Goran Francetic
Marin Frcko
HON
HON
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
40
5:10:03.7 +1:17:09.8


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