MITSUBISHI MOTORS

RALLI ART

Report
FIA PRODUCTION CAR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ACROPOLIS RALLY
01 JUNE 2008
DAY 3
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION CONTINUES TO DOMINATE ON TOUGHEST RALLY OF WRC PWRC CLASSIFICATION
OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

ANDREAS AIGNER / KLAUS WICHA
 

BERNARDO SOUSA / CARLOS MAGALHAES
 

ARMIND ARAUJO / MIGUEL RAMALHO
 
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution continued it’s season domination of Group N and the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship by taking the top five places in the category on the Acropolis Rally of Greece, and in total filling eight out of the top ten.

Andreas Aigner (Austria) completed an astonishing fight-back in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX to win his second FIA Production Car World Rally Championship this season, moving him into a comfortable lead in the standings for the all-Group N series. Even more impressive than Aigner’s performance was the general pace and reliability shown by all of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions in the field. The Japanese machine took eight of the top 10 positions on what has been labeled the toughest Acropolis Rally in years.

Aigner dropped time when he broke the intercooler on his Lancer Evolution on the opening day. Despite tumbling down the leaderboard to 20th place in the PWRC standings, Aigner battled back to move into the lead on Saturday afternoon and finally collect his win this afternoon.

"I can’t believe this!" he said after the day’s seventh and final stage and spraying the champagne. "I never thought this was possible. Again, today was all about finding the right speed and the right pace. I did that. It’s such a difficult event. If you go too slowly, you can easily damage the car as much as if you are going to fast. It has certainly not been an easy event, but to win is just fantastic more than I expected. I have to pay tribute to the Mitsubishi as well. This is a Group N car, but it survived some incredibly big rocks and difficult roads."

Bernardo Sousa (Portugal) made it a near dream finish for the Austrian Mitsubishi team, with him brining the sister car to that of Aigner home in second. Sousa’s only problem of the day came in SS16. He said: "We ran wide in one corner and hit the wheel. I thought we had a puncture, but it had damaged the suspension. I was quite worried, there was a bit of noise coming from the wheel, but when we got out, the sumpguard was touching the wheel so we removed the guard and drove to service. The team fixed the car in service, allowing us to carry on to third. What a great result for the team!"

Armindo Araujo (Portugal) moved past Fumio Nutahara (Japan) for third place. The multiple Japanese champion’s pace was slowed slightly in the final day when he bolted on some new suspension parts and was not quite up to speed with their effect on the car’s handling. Araujo, almost 30 seconds ahead of Nutahara at the end, said: "I’m glad to get to the end of this rally. It’s been one of those events. We’ve shown good speed, but this wasn’t the one for us."

Evgeny Aksakov (Russia) ensured an all-Mitsubishi top five. Former PWRC category leader Juho Hanninen (Finland) collected two points for finishing seventh, Loris Baldacci (San Marino, Mirco’s brother) taking the last point for eigth and Amjad Farrah (Jordan) rounding out Mitsubishi’s finest ever showing on a round of the Production Car World Rally Championship in ninth.

Martin Raum (Estonia) finished the event, provisionally second in PWRC, however was excluded from the results after the post-event scrutineering found irregularities with the brakes.

After three days of scintillating competition in the searing heat and bone-dry and rock hard Greek rocks, there’s no respite for the fastest Group N drivers in the world, as they head for round four of the series, the Rally of Turkey which starts in Antalya 10 days’ time.

In the overall positions on the Acropolis Rally of Greece, Sebastien Loeb (France) won the event, with Petter Solberg (Norway) second and Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) third.


 FIA PWRC  CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Andreas Aigner
Klaus Wicha
A
D
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
1
4:16:06.7 **:**:**.*
2 Bernardo Sousa
Carlos Magalhaes
P
P
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
2
4:17:04.8 0:58.1
3 Armindo Araujo
Miguel Ramalho
P
P
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
3
4:17:34.4 1:27.7
4 Fumio Nutahara
Daniel Barritt
J
GB
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
4:18:19.6 2:12.9
5 Evgeny Aksakov
Alexander Kornilov
RUS
RUS
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
5
4:23:11.6 7:04.9
6 Eygeniy Vertunov
Georgy Troshkin
RUS
RUS
SUBARU IMPREZA N
6
4:24:08.1 8:01.4
7 Juho Hanninen
Mikko Markkula
FIN
FIN
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
7
4:25:07.0 9:00.3
8 Loris Baldacci
Rudy Pollet
RSM
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
8
4:26:39.5 10:32.8
9 Amjad Farrah
Nicola Arena
HKJ
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
9
4:29:18.4 13:11.7
10 Naren Kumar
Nicky Beech
IND
GB
SUBARU IMPREZA N
10
4:32:21.5 16:14.8
11 Gianluca Linari
Roberto Mometti
I
I
SUBARU IMPREZA N
11
4:44:50.8 28:44.1
12 Labros Athanassoulas
Nikolaos Zakheos
GR
GR
SUBARU IMPREZA N
12
4:45:02.7 28:56.0
13 Travis Pastrana
Derek Ringer
USA
GB
SUBARU IMPREZA N
15
4:51:10.8 35:04.1
14 Martin Prokop
Jan Tomanek
CZ
CZ
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
20
5:06:00.5 49:53.8
15 Evgeny Novikov
Dimitry Chumak
RUS
RUS
SUBARU IMPREZA N
21
5:07:04.1 50:57.4


 OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
M
Sebastien Loeb
Daniel Elena
F
MC
CITROEN C4 WRC A
1
3:54:54.7 **:**:**.*
2
M
Petter Solberg
Philip Mills
N
GB
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC 2006 A
2
3:56:04.2 1:09.5
3
M
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
FIN
FIN
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
3
3:56:50.8 1:56.1
4
Urmo Aava
Kuldar Sikk
EE
EE
CITROEN C4 WRC A
4
3:59:14.4 4:19.7
5
M
Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
E
E
CITROEN C4 WRC A
5
3:59:44.1 4:49.4
6
Matthew Wilson
Scott Martin
GB
GB
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
6
4:01:06.0 6:11.3
7
M
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
FIN
FIN
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
7
4:01:42.2 6:47.5
8
M
Henning Solberg
Cato Menkerud
N
N
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
8
4:04:08.7 9:14.0
9
M
Toni Gardenmeister
Tomi Tuominen
FIN
FIN
SUZUKI SX4 A
9
4:05:08.5 10:13.8
10
Conrad Rautenbach
David Senior
ZW
GB
CITROEN C4 WRC A
10
4:08:23.8 13:29.1
11
M
Per-Gunnar Andersson
Jonas Andersson
S
S
SUZUKI SX4 A
11
4:08:47.2 13:52.5
12
Khalid Al Qassimi
Michael Orr
UAE
GB
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
12
4:08:50.3 13:55.6
13
M
Federico Villagra
Jorge Perez Companc
RA
RA
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
13
4:13:24.9 18:30.2
14
P
Andreas Aigner
Klaus Wicha
A
D
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
1
4:16:06.7 21:12.0
15
P
Bernardo Sousa
Carlos Magalhaes
P
P
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
2
4:17:04.8 22:10.1
../
17
P
Fumio Nutahara
Daniel Barritt
J
GB
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
4:18:19.6 23:24.9
18
P
Evgeny Aksakov
Alexander Kornilov
RUS
RUS
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
5
4:23:11.6 28:16.9
20
P
Juho Hanninen
Mikko Markkula
FIN
FIN
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
7
4:25:07.0 30:12.3
21
P
Loris Baldacci
Rudy Pollet
RSM
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
8
4:26:39.5 31:44.8
22
P
Amjad Farrah
Nicola Arena
HKJ
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
9
4:29:18.4 34:23.7
28
Dimitris Nassoulas
Mihalis Patrikoussis
GR
GR
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
14
4:48:33.6 53:38.9
31
Elias Athanassiou
Pantelis Iakovidis
GR
GR
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION VIII N
17
4:59:09.0 1:04:14.3
32
Emmanuel Panagiotopoulos
Helen Malaktari
GR
GR
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
18
5:01:02.9 1:06:08.2
33
Panayiotis Zissis
Vassillis Zissis
GR
GR
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
19
5:02:17.0 1:07:22.3
34
P
Martin Prokop
Jan Tomanek
CZ
CZ
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
20
5:06:00.5 1:11:05.8
38
Athanasios Tslilis
Emmanouel Ahtidas
GR
GR
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION VIII N
22
5:24:34.3 1:29:39.6
40
Dionissis Gazetas
Panayiotis Triandafylloy
GR
GR
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION VII A
18
5:48:54.2 1:53:59.5


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