1996 GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY
COMMUNIQUE 11

MONDAY, JANUARY 8, 1996
LEG 9: ZOUERAT - EL MREITI(MAURITANIA)

DISTANCE: 638 KM
STAGE DISTANCE: 629 KM
STAGE DISTANCE TO FINISH: 3151 KM




MASUOKA KEEPS THIRD PLACE FOR MITSUBISHI IN SEARING SAHARA


ACROSS THE GRUELLING SAND DUNES IN BLINDING SUNSHINE AND TEMPERATURES SOARING PAST THE 40 DEGREE CELSIUS MARK ON THE 629 KM NINTH LEG OF THE 1996 GRANADA - DAKAR, JAPAN'S HIROSHI MASUOKA, CO-DRIVEN BY GERMAN ANDREAS SCHULZ, HELD ONTO THIRD PLACE OVERALL IN THEIR TEAM CAR PLAZA MITSUBISHI OIL RALLIART RVR SPACE RUNNER PROTOTYPE.

SALT FLATS, ESCARPMENTS AND THE OCCASIONAL ROCKY OUTCROP WERE THE ONLY FEATURES TO BREAK THE MONOTONY OF THE ROLLING MOUNTAINS OF SAND, ALTHOUGH IT WAS IN THESE PLACES THAT MANY OF THE 165 COMPETITORS THAT STARTED THIS MORNING PICKED UP PUNCTURES. MANY COMPARED THE TERRAIN TO THAT FOUND IN THE TENERE DESERT IN NIGER.

MASUOKA'S CAREFUL APPROACH, THE FAULTLESS NAVIGATION OF HIS CO-DRIVER SCHULZ, AND THE TOTAL RELIABILITY OF HIS CAR AGAIN PAID DIVIDENDS AS HE SET FIFTH FASTEST, A MERE SEVEN MINUTES BEHIND THE LEADER. "I HAD TWO PUNCTURES TODAY," ADMITTED THE JAPANESE DRIVER. "THE LAST WAS JUST 500M BEFORE THE FINISH. THE STAGE WAS VERY LONG, BUT MY MITSUBISHI SPACE RUNNER RAN PERFECTLY AND I HAD NO MECHANICAL PROBLEMS."

MITSUBISHI TEAM MATES, FRENCH PAIRING JEAN-PIERRE FONTENAY AND BRUNO MUSMARRA, HELD ONTO FIFTH PLACE WITH ANOTHER SOLID PERFORMANCE IN THEIR TEAM OFF ROAD EXPRESS MITSUBISHI RALLIART PAJERO PROTOTYPE.THEY WERE SIXTH FASTEST TODAY, AFTER SUFFERING TWO PUNCTURES IN A DAY OF DIFFICULT NAVIGATION.

SAID FONTENAY: "AS WELL AS HAVING TO STOP AND CHANGE WHEELS TWICE, WE HAD TO CIRCLE SEVERAL TIMES TO PICK UP THE ROUTE. IT WAS A LONG, VERY HARD DAY, BUT OUR PAJERO WAS SUPERB."

ALTHOUGH PHILIPPE WAMBERGUE WAS FASTEST TODAY, JUST OVER TWO MINUTES AHEAD OF HIS TEAM MATE ARI VATANEN AND NEARLY SIX FROM FELLOW CITROEN DRIVER SALVADOR SERVIA, ALL ADMITTED THAT THE HIGH TEMPERATURES, TOUGH ROUTE AND DIFFICULT NAVIGATION MADE THE STAGE A LOTTERY. JUST 10 MINUTES COVERED THE TOP SIX ON THE STAGE AFTER OVER SIX HOURS OF ARDUOUS COMPETITION IN THE MAURITANIAN DESERT.

JAPANESE DRIVER KENJIRO SHINOZUKA, NAVIGATED BY EXPERIENCED FRENCHMAN HENRI MAGNE, WAS SEVENTH QUICKEST IN HIS TEAM MITSUBISHI OIL RALLIART PAJERO PROTOTYPE, JUST 12 MINUTES 50 SECONDS DOWN ON THE LEADER.

FRENCH PAIR BRUNO SABY AND DOMINIQUE SERIEYS FOLLOWED JUST BEHIND WITH EIGHTH FASTEST TIME IN THEIR TEAM PIAA MITSUBISHI RALLIART PAJERO PROTOTYPE, OVERTAKING JEAN-LOUIS SCHLESSER'S BUGGY IN THE PROCESS. .../...

AS IF THE TRIALS OF THE COMPETITORS WERE NOT ENOUGH, AS DARKNESS FELL ON THE SANDY, HOT, FLY-BLOWN BIVOUAC EL MREITI, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT WILDERNESS WITH ONLY ESCARPMENTS BREAKING THE HORIZON, THE ORGANISERS OF THE GRANADA - DAKAR WERE STILL TRYING TO RESCUE ONE OF THEIR AIRCRAFT, AN ANTANOV 12, WHICH BECAME STUCK IN THE SAND AFTER LANDING. MANY OF THE ORGANISERS' OTHER AEROPLANES, INCLUDING PRESS CARRIERS, HAD TO BE DIVERTED TO THE NEXT STOP IN TICHIT, BECAUSE THE STRANDED AEROPLANE WAS BLOCKING THE RUNWAY.

TONIGHT IN EL MREITI, THE DRIVERS AND THEIR SUPPORTING TRUCKS WILL START THE SERIOUS TASK OF SERVICING THEIR CARS THEMSELVES FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THIS PUNISHING MARATHON SECTION TOMORROW. MITSUBISHI NOT ONLY HAS THE ADVANTAGE OF ITS CARS' LEGENDARY RELIABILITY, BUT ALSO A SEVEN-STRONG FLEET OF TRUCKS STILL IN THE RALLY, TWO OF WHICH HAD ALREADY ARRIVED AS THE SUN WAS SETTING.


SS10 ZOUERAT -EL MREITI 629KM
1 - P. WAMBERGUE - CITROEN - T3 - 06:12:26
2 - A. VATANEN - CITROEN - T3 - 06:14:45
3 - S. SERVIA - CITROEN - T3 - 06:18:20
4 - P. LARTIGUE - CITROEN - T3 - 06:18:45
5 - H. MASUOKA - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 06:19:33
6 - JP FONTENAY - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 06:20:47
7 - K. SHINOZUKA - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 06:25:24
8 - B. SABY - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 06:48:42
9 - JL SCHLESSER - SCHLESSER - T3 - 07:07:03
10- G. VISMARA - SSANGYONG - T3 - 08:09:50


GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER SS10
1 - P. LARTIGUE/ M. PERRIN (FR) - CITROEN - T3 - 38:11:08
2 - P. WAMBERGUE/ F. GALLAGHER(FR/GB) - CITROEN - T3 - +00:44:40
3 - K. MASUOKA/ A. SCHULZ (J/D) - MITSUBISHI - T3 - +01:41:51
4 - A. VATANEN/ G. PICARD (SF/FR) - CITROEN - T3 - +01:49:04
5 - JP.FONTENAY/ B. MUSMARRA (FR) - MITSUBISHI - T3 - +02:08:35
6 - S. SERVIA/ J. PUIG (SP) - CITROEN - T3 - +02:14:47
7 - JL.SCHLESSER (FR) - SCHLESSER ORIG - T3 - +06:05:34
8 - B. SABY/ D. SERIEYS (FR) - MITSUBISHI - T3 - +08:26:58
9 - G. VISMARA/ M. CAMBIAGHI (ITA) - SSANGYONG - T3 - +10:25:59
10- T. DELAVERGNE/ L. ARGUELLES (FR) - NISSAN - T2 - +11:54:17
11- J. STRUGO/ JP. CATARELLI (FR) - MITSUBISHI - T1 - +13:21:29
12- V. MOSKOVSKIKH/ V. KOUZMINE (RUS) - KAMAZ - T4 - +14:34:24
13- M. PRIETO/ J. OLAVE (SP) - MITSUBISHI - T1 - +16:12:11
14- P. TAMBAY/ R. METGE (CH/FR) - MITSUBISHI - T2 - +16:16:11
15- G. SARRAZIN/ T. FUJISAWA (FR/J) - TOYOTA - T1 - +16:18:17
...
17- C. SOUZA/ P. LAROQUE (FR) - MITSUBISHI - T1 - +16:21:17
18- H. SAKCHAI/ S. TULL (THA) - MITSUBISHI - T2 - +16:24:51


TOMORROW, TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 1996
LEG 10: EL MREITI - TICHIT (MAURITANIA)
DISTANCE: 632 KM
SPECIAL STAGE: 632 KM

THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE: THE LONGEST STAGE OF THIS EPIC RACE TO DAKAR AT 632 KM WITHOUT THE HELP OF AIRBORNE MECHANICS AFTER THE RIGOURS OF THE PREVIOUS DAY'S PUNISHING TEST OF RELIABILITY.
.../...
TOMORROW THEY FACE ANOTHER LONG DAY IN THE SAHARA'S BLAZING FURNACE, AGAIN TACKING THE DUNES, ERGS AND MORE DIFFICULT NAVIGATION TO THE ANCIENT SALT TRADING TOWN OF TICHIT WHICH IS SLOWLY BEING SWALLOWED UP BY THE DESERT DUNES, ALONG WITH THE OASIS OF AOUKER.

THE FIRST CAR WILL LEAVE EL MREITI AT 08:50, THE FIRST MOTORBIKE STARTING EARLIER, AT 07:30. THE CARS ARE EXPECTED TO MAKE THE STEEP DESCENT DOWN THE SAND BANKS INTO TICHIT AT APPROXIMATELY 16:50, THE BIKES ARRIVING ABOUT AN HOUR BEFOREHAND.



[ COMMUNIQUE 10 ]

[ COMMUNIQUE 9 ]

[ COMMUNIQUE 8 ]

[ COMMUNIQUE 7 ]

[ COMMUNIQUE 6 ]

[ COMMUNIQUE 5 ]

[ COMMUNIQUE 4 ]

[ COMMUNIQUE 3 ]

[ COMMUNIQUE 2 ]

[ COMMUNIQUE 1 ]
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Copyright 1996 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation