MITSUBISHI MOTORS

RALLI ART

Report
FIA PRODUCTION CAR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
WALES RALLY GB
01 DECEMBER 2008
PREVIEW
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVER READY TO LIFT WORLD TITLE IN WALES ENTRIES

JUHO HANNINEN / MIKKO MARKKULA
 

ANDREAS AIGNER / KLAUS WICHA
 

FUMIO NUTAHARA / DANIEL BARRITT
 
Only two drivers can win this year’s Production Car World Rally Championship (PWRC) as the series reaches its finale on Rally GB in Wales thist week wnd. And both of those drivers Juho Hanninen (Finland) and Andreas Aigner (Austria) will be in Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions.

Hanninen and Aigner have dominated the PWRC this year. Between them, they have won six of the seven rallies run so far and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has won every one of those rallies. The Lancer hasn’t been beaten in Group N on a round of the FIA World Rally Championship in more than year now. And, in Wales this week, there will be 24 Mitsubishi drivers determined to see that trend continue.

The main business of Wales Rally GB is the PWRC title fight. All eyes will be firmly focused on the all-Group N battle to be the best in the world. Hanninen arrives in Cardiff, the rally’s host city, with a six-point advantage over his rival Aigner. Fourth place or better for the Finn would assure him of his first FIA World Rally Championship award. Conversely, Aigner needs to win or finish second on the event, and even then his title aspirations rest with Hanninen. It’s a finely balanced duel which will keep the tens of thousands of British rally fans on their feet for the entire three days.

Rally GB is one of the classic rallies in the championship. And Wales provides some of the finest roads in the most testing of conditions. Running in the British winter, the crews will face the full array of weather, with heavy rain and fog likely and snow and ice possible. The ever-changing conditions and grip levels on the gravel forest tracks are part and parcel of Rally GB. Once again this year, the rally starts and finishes in the Welsh capital of Cardiff and includes one stage in the famous Millennium Stadium but it’s the city of Swansea, 65km east which will be the focal point of the rally world for the final chapter in the riveting story of the 2008 PWRC. Central service in Swansea is where the teams will remain while the crews head out into the murky depths of the Welsh woods in search of glory and global recognition in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions.

This year’s route ventures much further north in Wales on Friday to classic stages such as Hafren, Sweet Lamb and Myherin for the first time since 2001. The Saturday and Sunday stages remain largely untouched from previous years.

Both Hanninen and Aigner have previous experience of the event. Hanninen’s record is the stronger of the two. He has won his class and finished second in class on his two visits. Hanninen said: "I like Rally GB. In places the roads are fast, quite like home, but all of the time you have to watch the weather. The fog and rain can be tough. We will see. I know what I have to do."

Aigner, whose last PWRC outing was New Zealand in August, added: "It’s not going to be an easy rally it never is. GB is probably one of the toughest on the calendar. Okay, it’s how it is. There’s pressure on me and Juho [Hanninen]. It’ll be good to get on with the rally after quite a long time out of the car for me."

Beyond the main fight at the front, the final P-WRC round of the season will boast one of the biggest entries as crews flock to taste the fabulous Welsh roads. Winner of the previous PWRC round Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) is certain to be getting in among the leaders in his Lancer, as will the hugely experienced Fumi Nutahara (Japan). Fellow Mitsubishi drivers Armindo Araujo (Portugal), Mirco Baldacci (San Marino), Berneardo Sousa (Portugal) and Martin Rauam (Estonia) all have a solid chance of winning their final P-WRC outing of the season.

And, in addition to the PWRC scrap, Rally GB is also the final round of the British Rally Championship, where Wilks and his Mitsubishi Motors UK team-mate Gwyndaf Evans will lead the charge.

The rally starts on Thursday December 4 with a ceremonial start in the centre of Cardiff at 1800. The Day one’s action on (123.68km) includes eight stages and a remote service zone in Builth Wells, north of Swansea. Day two (129.21km) means a further seven stages including the indoor test at the Millennium Stadium. Sunday December 7 delivers 96.10 out of a total of 348.99 competitive kilometers. The final day will offer two loops of stages close to Cardiff before the champagne finish back in the centre of the city at 1500.


 ENTRIES
No. Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Grp
Cls
1
M
Sebastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
F
MC
CITROEN C4 WRC A
8
2
M
Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
E
E
CITROEN C4 WRC A
8
3
M
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
FIN
FIN
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
8
4
M
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
FIN
FIN
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
8
5
M
Petter Solberg
Philip Mills
N
GB
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC 2008 A
8
6
M
Chris Atkinson
Stephane Prevot
AUS
B
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC 2008 A
8
7
M
Francois Duval
Patrick Pivato
B
F
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
8
8
M
Matthew Wilson
Scott Martin
GB
GB
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
8
11
M
Toni Gardenmeister
Tomi Tuominen
FIN
FIN
SUZUKI SX4 A
8
12
M
Per-Gunnar Andersson
Jonas Andersson
S
S
SUZUKI SX4 A
8
14
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
N
N
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
8
15
Urmo Aava
Kuldar Sikk
EE
EE
CITROEN C4 WRC A
8
16
Conrad Rautenbach
David Senior
ZW
GB
CITROEN C4 WRC A
8
18
Mads Ostberg
Ole Unnerud
S
N
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC A
8
19
Khalid Al Qassimi
Michael Orr
UAE
GB
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
8
20
Barry Clark
Paul Nagle
GB
GB
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
8
21
Eamonn Boland
Damien Morrissey
IRL
IRL
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC A
8
22
Gareth Jones
Clive Jenkins
GB
GB
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC A
8
23
Steve Perez
Pual Spooner
GB
GB
FORD FOCUS WRC A
8
24
Weston Dave
Aled Davies
GB
GB
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 06 A
8
32
P
Mirco Baldacci
Giovanni Agnese
RSM
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
33
P
Martin Prokop
Jan Tomanek
CZ
CZ
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
35
P
Evgeny Novikov
Dale Moscatt
RUS
AUS
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
36
P
Eyvind Brynhildsen
Denis Giraudet
N
F
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
37
P
Spyros Pavlides
CYP
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
38
P
Darren Gass
Neil Shanks
GB
GB
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
39
P
Nasser Al Attiyah
Chris Patterson
QAT
GB
SUBARU IMPREZA N
4
40
P
Loris Baldacci
Rudy Pollet
RSM
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
41
P
Andreas Aigner
Klaus Wicha
A
DEN
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
42
P
Bernardo Sousa
Jorge Carralho
P
P
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
44
P
Patrik Flodin
Goran Bergsten
S
S
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
45
P
Teemu Arminen
Toomo Nikkola
FIN
FIN
SUBARO IMPREZA N14 N
4
46
Valentino Rossi
Carlo Cassina
I
I
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
8
47
P
Jaromir Tarabus
Daniel Trunket
CZ
CZ
FIAT GRANDE PUNTO S2000 N
4
48
P
Evgeny Aksakov
Aleksander Kornilov
RUS
EE
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
49
P
Simone Campedelli
Danilo Fappani
I
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
50
P
Armindo Araujo
Miguel Ramalho
P
P
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
52
P
Juho Hanninen
Mikko Markkula
FIN
FIN
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
53
P
Giovanni Manfrinato
Carlo Pisano
I
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
54
P
Mark Higgins
Rory Kennedy
GB
IRL
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
55
P
Patrik Sandell
Emil Axelsson
S
S
PEUGEOT 207 S2000 N
4
56
P
Fumio Nutahara
Daniel Barritt
J
GB
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
57
P
Martin Rauam
Silver Kutt
EE
EE
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
58
P
Karen Kumar
Nicky Beech
IND
GB
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
59
P
David Higgins
Leuan Thomas
GB
GB
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
60
P
Guy Wilks
Phil Pugh
GB
GB
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
61
Gwyndaf Evans
Gareth Roberts
GB
GB
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
62
Mattias Therman
Janne Perala
FIN
FIN
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
63
Dave Weston Jnr
Nigel Gardner
GB
GB
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
64
Ari Laivola
Kari Mustalahti
FIN
FIN
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
65
Brian O Mahony
John Higgins
IRL
IRL
RENAULT CLIO S1600 A
6
66
Tommi Luostarinen
S Suhonen
FIN
FIN
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
67
Hermann Gassner Junior
Katherina Wuesttenhagen
DEN
DEN
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
68
Hugh Evans
Lestyn Williams
GB
GB
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
69
Daniel Ungur
Sebastian Itu
RUS
RUS
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
70
Marco Tempestini
Dorin Pulpea
I
RUS
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
71
Oleskii Tamrazov
Oleksandr Skchyk

SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
72
Rob Gill
Anders Howard
GB
GB
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
73
Egon Kaur
Simo Koskinen
EE
EE
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
74
Tom Walster
Tim Sturla
GB
GB
FORD FIESTA ST 150 N
3
75
Peter Stephenson
GB
MG ZR S2000 N
4
76
Jason Pritchard
George Gwynn
GB
GB
CITROEN C2 A
6
77
James Smith
Simon Wallis
GB
GB
SUBARU IMPREZA N
4
78
Matt Ctton
Anthony Godden
GB
GB
CITROEN C2 A
6
79
Andew Hockridge
Rich Mills
GB
GB
CITROEN C2 A
6
80
Steven Holder
Steve McPhee
GB
GB
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
81
Emre Yurdakul
Can Erkal
TUR
TUR
FORD FIESTA ST 150 N
3
82
Fredric Sauvan
Thibault Gorczca
F
F
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION N
4
83
Luca Griotti
Corrado Bonato
I
I
RENAULT CLIO A
7
84
Burcu Cetinkaya
Cicek Gunny
TUR
TUR
FORD FIESTA ST 150 N
3
85
Nathan O'Connor
Jessica Rogan
GB
GB
CITROEN C2 A
6
86
Koray Muratoglu
Caglar Suren
TUR
TUR
FORD FIESTA ST 150 N
3
87
Tony Jardine
David Smith
GB
GB
FORD FIESTA ST 150 N
3
88
Deividas Jocius
Mindaugas Varza
LT
LT
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
89
Gordon Nichol
Emma Morrison
GB
GB
SUZUKI SWIFT N
2
90
Joachim Muller-Wende
DEN
FORD FIESTA ST 150 N
3
91
David Mathtews
Ian Harraway
GB
GB
SUBARU IMPREZA N
4
92
Marko Jeram
Simon Lapajne
SLO
SLO
FORD FIESTA ST 150 N
3
93
Denis Grodetskiy
Safoniy Lotko
RUS
RUS
FORD FIESTA ST 150 N
3
94
Thomas Cave
Gemma Price
GB
GB
FORD FIESTA ST 150 N
3
95
Neville Jones
Ian Capewell
GB
GB
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4
96
Supradip Dey Roy
Rob Stokoe
GB
GB
MG ZR 160 N
3
97
David Harrison
Glyn Thomas
GB
GB
MG ZR 105 N
1
98
Darren Jones
Paul Burley
GB
GB
SKODA FELICIA A
5
146
P
Jari Ketomaa
Miika Teiskonen
FIN
FIN
SUBARU IMPRZA WRX STI N
4

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