1996 GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY
COMMUNIQUE 1

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1995
PROLOGUE: GRANADA

DISTANCE: 300 M
TOTAL DISTANCE TO FINISH: 7597 KM



SHINOZUKA HEADS DAKAR RALLY FOR MITSUBISHI AFTER WINNING


JAPANESE DRIVER KENJIRO SHINOZUKA WILL LEAD THE 17-DAY CHARGE TO DAKAR AFTER WINNING THE GRANADA-DAKAR '96 PROLOGUE IN HIS TEAM MITSUBISHI OIL RALLIART PAJERO PROTOTYPE TODAY, DECEMBER 29, 1995 IN GRANADA, SPAIN.

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE EVENT'S 18-YEAR HISTORY, THE GRANADA - DAKAR CROSS COUNTRY RALLY STARTED WITH A THRILLING FLOODLIT ACCELERATION TEST.

HUGE CROWDS GATHERED AT GRANADA'S IMPRESSIVE NEW FOOTBALL STADIUM IN THE EARLY EVENING TO WITNESS 295 CARS, BIKES AND TRUCKS RACE SIDE-BY-SIDE IN PAIRS OVER A STRAIGHT 300 M COURSE MORE REMINISCENT OF A GRAVEL DRAG STRIP.

COOL WEATHER AND PERSISTENT RAIN DID LITTLE TO DAMPEN THE ENTHUSIASM OF THE SPECTATORS AND COMPETITORS AS SHINOZUKA POWERED HIS WAY INTO FIRST PLACE, WITH TEAM PIAA MITSUBISHI RALLIART DRIVER BRUNO SABY JUST 0.027 SECONDS BEHIND IN SECOND IN AN IDENTICAL PAJERO PROTOTYPE.

SAID SHINOZUKA: "I AM VERY PLEASED THAT I WILL START AT NUMBER ONE TOMORROW. I DROVE VERY HARD IN THE PROLOGUE, BUT WITHOUT RISKING MECHANICAL DAMAGE."

TEAM MATE BRUNO SABY ADDED: "THIS WAS THE SHORTEST STAGE I'VE EVER DONE IN THE LONGEST RALLY IN THE WORLD!"

JEAN-PIERRE FONTENAY, WHO FINISHED FIFTH IN HIS TEAM OFF ROAD EXPRESS MITSUBISHI RALLIART PAJERO PROTOTYPE, RACED SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH PHILIP WAMBERGUE'S CITROEN AND SAID AFTERWARDS: "I RACED FLAT OUT AND PASSED WAMBERGUE, BUT WHEN I LOOKED UP I SAW A LOT OF PEOPLE AT THE FINISH LINE AND I WAS FRIGHTENED FOR A MOMENT AND LIFTED OFF THE ACCELERATOR AND HE PASSED ME AGAIN."

ALTHOUGH THE PROLOGUE IS DESIGNED TO CHOOSE THE STARTING ORDER FOR THE FIRST LEG OF THIS YEAR'S EPIC AFRICAN ADVENTURE, FIA SEEDING IS RESPECTED.

ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR SIGHTS OF THE EVENING OCCURRED WHEN THE "DAKAR" TRUCKS RACED. ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR WAS THE MITSUBISHI TRUCK "FR"4WD-RS, AN IMPRESSIVE FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE, TURBOCHARGED DIESEL MACHINE WEIGHING 14,000 KG WITH A POWER OUTPUT OF 440PS. DRIVEN BY EXPERIENCED CROSS COUNTRY RALLY TRUCK DRIVER GILBERT VERSINO OF FRANCE, THIS IS THE MITSUBISHI TRUCK'S FIRST APPEARANCE IN THE "DAKAR".

PROLOGUE (300M)
1 - K. SHINOZUKA - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 00:00:13:147
2 - B. SABY - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 00:00:13:174
3 - JL SCHLESSER - SCHLESSER - T3 - 00:00:13:188
4 - P. WAMBERGUE - CITROEN - T3 - 00:00:13:213
5 - JP FONTENAY - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 00:00:13:230
6 - H. MASUOKA - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 00:00:13:255
7 - S. SERVIA - CITROEN - T3 - 00:00:13:408
8 - A. VATANEN - CITROEN - T3 - 00:00:14:089
9 - G. VISMARA - SSANGYONG - T3 - 00:00:14:706
10- G. DELADRIERE - NISSAN - T3 - 00:00:14:961
...
14- P. LARTIGUE - CITROEN - T3 - 00:00:15:842


GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER PROLOGUE (300M)
1 - K. SHINOZUKA/ H. MAGNE (J/FR) - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 00:00:13:147
2 - B. SABY/ D. SERIEYS (FR) - MITSUBISHI - T3 - +00:00:00:027
3 - JL.SCHLESSER (FR) - SCHLESSER ORIG - T3 - +00:00:00:041
4 - P. WAMBERGUE/ F. GALLAGHER(FR/GB) - CITROEN - T3 - +00:00:00:066
5 - JP.FONTENAY/ B. MUSMARRA (FR) - MITSUBISHI - T3 - +00:00:00:083
6 - K. MASUOKA/ A. SCHULZ (J/D) - MITSUBISHI - T3 - +00:00:00:108
7 - S. SERVIA/ J. PUIG (SP) - CITROEN - T3 - +00:00:00:261
8 - A. VATANEN/ G. PICARD (SF/FR) - CITROEN - T3 - +00:00:00:942
9 - G. VISMARA/ M. CAMBIAGHI (ITA) - SSANGYONG - T3 - +00:00:01:559
10- G. DELADRIERE/ P. CHARMASSON (BEL)- NISSAN - T3 - +00:00:01:814
...
14- P. LARTIGUE/ M. PERRIN (FR) - CITROEN - T3 - +00:00:02:695

TOMORROW, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30
LEG 1: GRANADA - MALAGA (SPAIN)
DISTANCE: 241 KM
SS1: 4 KM

THE 295 CARS, BIKES AND TRUCKS IN THIS YEAR'S GRANADA - DAKAR CLASSIC WILL FACE THEIR FIRST PROPER TEST OF SPEED AND ENDURANCE WITH JUST ONE, SHORT SPECIAL STAGE IN SPAIN TOMORROW, BEFORE CROSSING THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA OVERNIGHT TO MOROCCO.

THE FOUR KILOMETRE SECTION WILL BE HELD ON MILITARY LAND. TWO SPECIAL STAGES WERE PLANNED FOR THE LEG, THE SECOND THROUGH THE OLIVE AND ALMOND GROVES OF ANDALUCIA. HOWEVER, RECENT HEAVY RAIN HAS FLOODED THE AREA MAKING THE NARROW, UNDULATING TRACKS IMPASSABLE, AND THE STAGE HAS BEEN CANCELLED.THE RALLY WILL BE RE-ROUTED AFTER STAGE ONE DIRECTLY TO THE FINISH OF THE LEG IN MALAGA.

LEG 1 STARTS FROM GRANADA AT 09:00 FOR THE 119 MOTORBIKES, WHILE THE FIRST OF THE 106 CARS AND 70 TRUCKS WILL LEAVE AT 10:40.THE LAST COMPETITOR IS SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE IN MALAGA FOR EMBARKATION ON THE SHIP TO NADOR, MOROCCO, AT 22:25.



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Copyright 1995 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation