MITSUBISHI MOTORS

RALLI ART

Report
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
RALLYE DE ESPANA
05 OCTOBER 2008
DAY 3
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTIONS TAKE 1-2-3 & 4 IN GROUP N ON RALLY CATALUNYA OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

JASPER VAN DEN HEUVEL / MARTINE KOLMAN
 

JOAN FONT / MANEL MUNOZ
 

JUHO HANNINEN / MIKKO MARKKULA
 
Jasper van den Heuvel (Netherlands) celebrated his first Group N victory on Rally Catalunya, which ended in Salou this afternoon. Van den Heuvel maintained the dominance of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution at the pinnacle of production car rallying in the World Rally Championship.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has won Group N - a fiercely competitive category for the cars closest to the machinery which is driven by the general public - on the last 13 rounds of the World Rally Championship. This week’s 12th round of the FIA World Rally Championship was no different, with a Lancer Evolution leading from start to finish and filling all three steps of the podium.

The event was based in the Mediterranean coastal town of Salou on the Costa Daurada. Holidaymakers mixed with locals and hardcore rally fans to relish in the prospect of watching the world’s fastest and finest rally drivers competing on the quickest asphalt roads of the season. Even better for all concerned, was the glorious sunshine combined with temperatures of around 20 degrees. The event consisted of 18 stages across the three days of competition. Each day was divided in half with three stages in the morning, lunchtime service at the PortAventura theme park in Salou, and a repeat of exactly the same three stages in the afternoon. The stages were all north and north-west of the coast, heading into the Tarragona hills.

Usually one of the most popular rounds of the WRC, this year’s Rally Catalunya didn’t disappoint with a highly partisan local crowd making their support for leading WRC driver Dani Sordo (Spain) clear. There were, however, plenty of cheers for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions.

Juho Hanninen (Finland) and Eyvind Brynildsen (Norway) were among the early favorites for the Group N category. Despite their inexperience of these roads, both Hanninen and Brynildsen are recognized as being stars of the future of the World Rally Championship. Brynildsen led from the start of the event, before Hanninen eased his way to the front of the field on the third stage. From then on, Hanninen posted fastest time after fastest time along the super-smooth fast and flowing Catalan roads to open up a half-minute lead over van den Heuvel, who had overtaken Brynildsen’s Lancer Evolution. Hanninen stopped with a minor transmission fault on the final stage of Saturday, allowing van den Heuvel to move to the front. With a six-minute lead over his nearest rival on the final day, the Dutchman who celebrates his 30th birthday later this month was able to steer a clear and sensible path through the final Sunday’s six stages.

Van den Heuvel said: "It has been a fantastic rally for me. The car has been really nice. I haven’t had any problems with the Mitubishi at all. The roads have been good, it’s nice when the weather is sunshine like it has been. I have enjoyed the event."

Joan Font (Spain) reveled on his home round of the World Rally Championship bringing his Mitsubishi Lancer into second place in Group N, finishing ahead of Hanninen who finished third. Hanninen said: "I’m here for experience and the same in Corsica next week. I didn’t drive on asphalt so much, so to do these two rallies is very good for me. I’m pleased I was able to find the speed to lead the event."

At the front of the field, Sebastien Loeb (France) collected his ninth victory of the year, with his Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo (Spain) delighting local fans with second place. The final podium place was collected by Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) in a Ford.

The next round of the FIA World Rally Championship is the Tour de Corse-Rally de France (October 9-12).


 OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Cls Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M
Sebastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
F
MC
CITROEN C4 WRC A
1
3:21:17.4 **:**:**.*
2
M
Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
E
E
CITROEN C4 WRC A
2
3:21:42.3 0:24.9
3
M
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
FIN
FIN
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
3
3:22:19.9 1:02.5
4
M
Francois Duval
Patrick Pivato
B
F
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
4
3:22:28.2 1:10.8
5
M
Petter Solberg
Philip Mills
N
GB
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC 2008 A
5
3:24:44.8 3:27.4
6
M
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
FIN
FIN
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
6
3:25:21.2 4:03.8
7
M
Chris Atkinson
Stephane Prevot
AUS
B
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC 2008 A
7
3:25:22.3 4:04.9
8
Andreas Mikkelsen
Ola Floene
N
N
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
8
3:26:37.0 5:19.6
9
M
Matthew Wilson
Scott Martin
GB
GB
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
9
3:29:00.6 7:43.2
10
Brise Tirabassi
Fabrice Gordon
F
F
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC A
10
3:30:22.4 9:05.0
11
M
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
N
N
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
11
3:31:26.0 10:08.6
12
M
Federico Villagra
Jorge Perez Companc
RA
RA
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
12
3:31:54.7 10:37.3
13
M
Toni Gardenmeister
Tomi Tuominen
FIN
FIN
SUZUKI SX4 A
13
3:32:43.5 11:26.1
14
Mads Ostberg
Ole Unnerud
S
N
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC A
14
3:33:14.4 11:57.0
15
Eamonn Boland
Michael Morrissey
IRL
IRL
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC A
15
3:40:09.5 18:52.1
16
J
Martin Prokop
Jan Tomanek
CZ
CZ
CITROEN C2 A
16
3:41:25.0 20:07.6
17
J
Alessandro Bettega
Simone Scattolin
I
I
RENAULT CLIO RS A
17
3:41:49.6 20:32.2
18
Gareth Jones
Clive Jenkins
GB
GB
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC A
18
3:41:53.8 20:36.4
19
Jasper Van Den Heuvel
Martine Kolman
NL
NL
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
1
3:42:22.0 21:04.6
20
J
Aaron Burkart
Michael Koelbach
D
D
CITROEN C2 A
19
3:42:29.5 21:12.1
../
26
Joan Font
Manel Munoz
E
E
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
2
3:50:00.7 28:43.3
29
Juho Hanninen
Mikko Markkula
FIN
FIN
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
3
3:51:48.7 30:31.3
34
Eyvind Brynhildsen
Denis Giraudet
N
F
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
3:54:39.2 33:21.8
46
Michael Eckhaus
Eduard Eertink
NL
NL
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION VIII N
15
4:24:49.2 1:03:31.8


TOP
MOTOR SPORTS