MITSUBISHI MOTORS

RALLI ART

Report
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
RALLY ARGENTINA
30 MARCH 2008
DAY 3
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVER AIGNER SCORES SENSATIONAL MAIDEN PRODUCTION WIN IN ARGENTINA PWRC CLASSIFICATION
OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

ANDREAS AIGNER / KLAUS WICHA
 

SEBASTIAN BELTRAN / RICARDO ROJAS
 

FUMIO NUTAHARA / DANIEL BARRITT
 
After leading for 20 of the 21 stages on Rally Argentina, Andreas Aigner (Austria) crossed the finish line in Cordoba this afternoon, more than a minute ahead of his nearest rival to take his first ever Production Car World Rally Championship win.

Having come close on numerous occasions last season, Aigner was delighted to break his duck in such dominant fashion in South America. A string of fastest times on the first morning elevated him to an unassailable position at the head of the standings - and for the next two days, he controlled the pace from the front.

"I have to say a big thanks to Mitsubishi, my team for this," he said. "This car has been incredible. We have hit so many big rocks, but the Lancer Evolution is so tough, it didn’t have any problems. I can’t tell you how pleased I am with this result. It has been such a tough event. The stages this morning, we so difficult. The weather was bad again, with more rain and fog and then I hit a rock really hard and hurt my hand in El Condor. It’s been incredible - an amazing event. But now I’ve won - and that’s all that matters right now. After this I have to go on and build on this result for the rest of the season."

Fellow Mitsubishi driver Sebastian Beltran (Argentina) emerged victorious from an incredible battle for second place with Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar). The local hero was fastest on the day’s opener - Mina Clavero - taking 9.2seconds out of Al-Attiyah and closing to six second of the runners-up spot. Beltran redoubled his efforts in the penultimate test, but was able to throttle back mid-way through when his rival’s Subaru suffered an engine problem.

"I really wanted this position," said the overjoyed Beltran at the finish. "It means so much to me and to the Argentinian rally fans to have a home driver so high up. We gave it everything this morning, we were really pushing. Fantastic!"

The final day of Rally Argentina took crews through some of the most dramatic landscapes visited anywhere during the season of the World Rally Championship. After departing the service park alongside the San Roque lake in Villa Carlos Paz at just after seven o’clock this morning, the crews headed high into the Translasierra Mountains for the legendary Mina Clavero and El Condor stages. Running at an altitude of more than 2,000 metres, the cars battled with the soaring Condors and lunar-like landscape for the attention of the rapturous rally fans.

Once again, Mitsubishis were the dominant cars in the Production Car WRC battle, with eight Lancer Evolution IXs in the top 10 places. Fumio Nutahara (Japan) held third place for much of the opening leg, but had to settle for fourth after damaging his Mitsubishi’s rear suspension on SS15. Despite that indiscretion, Nutahara was upbeat about the event.

"This was my first PWRC round of the year, so to come away with some good points is what I needed," he said. "The event didn’t go to plan all of the time. We had some problems, but in these conditions, getting fourth place is good. I am happy."

The Lancer Evolutions of Martin Rauam (Estonia), Amjad Farrah (Jordan), Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) and Bernardo Sousa (Portugal) rounded out the points-paying positions.

At the head of the field, Sebastien Loeb (France) won the event for Citroen, with his team-mate Dani Sordo (Spain) third. Sandwiched between the two Citroens was the Subaru of Australian Chris Atkinson.

The next round of the Production Car World Rally Championship is the Acropolis Rally (May 29-June 2).


 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
5:34:47.9 **:**:**.*
2 Sebastian Beltran
Ricardo Rojas
RA
RA
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
5:35:53.5 1:05.6
3 Jari Ketomaa
Miika Teiskonen
FIN
FIN
SUBARU IMPREZA N
5:37:41.2 2:53.3
4 Fumio Nutahara
Daniel Barritt
J
GB
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
5:38:47.0 3:59.1
5 Martin Rauam
Silver Kutt
EE
EE
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
5:44:16.0 9:28.1
6 Amjad Farrah
Nicola Arena
HKJ
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
5:53:04.4 18:16.5
7 Martin Prokop
Jan Tomanek
CZ
CZ
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
5:53:07.8 18:19.9
8 Bernardo Sousa
Carlos Magalhaes
P
P
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
6:13:02.4 38:14.5
9 Simone Campedelli
Danilo Fappani
I
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
6:14:10.0 39:22.1
10 Gabor Mayer
Robert Tagai
H
H
SUBARU IMPREZA N
6:14:31.4 39:43.5
11 Spyros Pavlides
Denis Giraudet
CYP
F
SUBARU IMPREZA N
6:15:58.6 41:10.7
12 Evgeny Aksakov
Alexander Kornilov
RUS
RUS
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
6:17:23.6 42:35.7
13 Giorgio Bacco
Silvio Stefanelli
I
I
SUBARU IMPREZA N
6:18:13.7 43:25.8
14 Andrej Jereb
Miran Kacin
SLO
SLO
SUBARU IMPREZA N
6:18:47.1 43:59.2
15 Subhan Aksa
Hendrik Mboi
RI
RI
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION VIII N
6:27:26.0 52:38.1


 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
5:05:48.6 **:**:**.*
2
M
Chris Atkinson
Stephane Prevot
AUS
B
SUBARU IMPREZA WRC 2006 A
2
5:08:21.8 2:33.2
3
M
Daniel Sordo
Marc Marti
E
E
CITROEN C4 WRC A
3
5:09:53.3 4:04.7
4
Conrad Rautenbach
David Senior
ZW
GB
CITROEN C4 WRC A
4
5:25:52.1 20:03.5
5
M
Mikko Hirvonen
Jarmo Lehtinen
FIN
FIN
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
5
5:31:03.9 25:15.3
6
M
Federico Villagra
Jorge Perez Companc
RA
RA
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
6
5:33:30.6 27:42.0
7
M
Gigi Galli
Giovanni Bernacchini
I
I
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
7
5:33:40.4 27:51.8
8
P
Andreas Aigner
Klaus Wicha
A
D
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
1
5:34:47.9 28:59.3
9
P
Sebastian Beltran
Ricardo Rojas
RA
RA
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
2
5:35:53.5 30:04.9
10
P
Jari Ketomaa
Miika Teiskonen
FIN
FIN
SUBARU IMPREZA N
3
5:37:41.2 31:52.6
11
P
Fumio Nutahara
Daniel Barritt
J
GB
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
4
5:38:47.0 32:58.4
12
P
Martin Rauam
Silver Kutt
EE
EE
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
5
5:44:16.0 38:27.4
13
P
Amjad Farrah
Nicola Arena
HKJ
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
6
5:53:04.4 47:15.8
14
P
Martin Prokop
Jan Tomanek
CZ
CZ
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
7
5:53:07.8 47:19.2
15
M
Jari-Matti Latvala
Miikka Anttila
FIN
FIN
FORD FOCUS RS WRC 07 A
8
5:55:01.8 49:13.2
16
Walter Rodriguez
Laureano Grigera
RA
RA
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
8
6:07:28.4 1:01:39.8
17
Gaston Genovese
Gustavo Beccaria
RA
RA
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
9
6:09:27.2 1:03:38.6
18
P
Bernardo Sousa
Carlos Magalhaes
P
P
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
10
6:13:02.4 1:07:13.8
19
P
Simone Campedelli
Danilo Fappani
I
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
11
6:14:10.0 1:08:21.4
20
P
Gabor Mayer
Robert Tagai
H
H
SUBARU IMPREZA N
12
6:14:31.4 1:08:42.8
../
22
P
Evgeny Aksakov
Alexander Kornilov
RUS
RUS
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX N
14
6:17:23.6 1:11:35.0
26
P
Subhan Aksa
Hendrik Mboi
RI
RI
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION VIII N
17
6:27:26.0 1:21:37.4
27
Jose Nicolas
Sergio Perugini
RA
RA
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION VIII N
18
7:01:06.3 1:55:17.7


TOP
MOTOR SPORTS