1996 GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY
COMMUNIQUE 13

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 1996
LEG 11: TICHIT - KIFFA (MAURITANIA)

DISTANCE: 535 KM
STAGE DISTANCE: 530 KM
STAGE DISTANCE TO FINISH: 1984KM




FONTENAY FASTEST ON ROAD TO KIFFA IN MITSUBISHI 1-2 VICTORY


FRENCH PAIR JEAN-PIERRE FONTENAY AND BRUNO MUSMARRA SCORED THE FASTEST TIME ON TODAY'S 11TH LEG OF THE GRANADA - DAKAR '96, FROM TICHIT TO KIFFA, DRIVING THE TEAM OFF ROAD EXPRESS MITSUBISHI RALLIART PAJERO PROTOTYPE.

COMPLETING A SPECTACULAR 1-2 VICTORY FOR MITSUBISHI, BRUNO SABY AND DOMINIQUE SERIEYS, ALSO FROM FRANCE, FINISHED THE 530 KM STAGE JUST NINE MINUTES ADRIFT IN SECOND PLACE IN THE TEAM PIAA MITSUBISHI RALLIART PAJERO PROTOTYPE.

TODAY'S STAGE THREW EVERY "DAKAR" CHALLENGE IMAGINABLE AT THE 83 CARS AND TRUCKS AND 59 BIKES THAT STARTED FROM TICHIT THIS MORNING. AFTER 10 DAYS OF WARM, CALM, SUNNY WEATHER, THE BIVOUAC WAS WELCOMED BY THE UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCE OF A SAHARAN SAND STORM THIS MORNING. BUT THE MITSUBISHI TEAM QUICKLY SHOOK THE DUST FROM THEIR TENTS AND CLOTHES AND HEADED OUT INTO THE OPEN DESERT ONCE MORE, FACING THE IMPOSING PASS THROUGH THE ESCARPMENT AT IGUEKKATEME, AND THE INFAMOUS NEGA PASS. THE STAGE HAD EVERYTHING FROM FAST SECTIONS, TO ROCKY ROADS, AND TWISTING SANDY TRACKS THROUGH THE BUSHES OF THE SAHEL, AGAIN IN HIGH TEMPERATURES NEARING 40 DEGREES AT TIMES.

SAID STAGE WINNER FONTENAY: "I REALLY ENJOYED THIS STAGE. THE SAND STORM LASTED FOR QUITE A WHILE AFTER THE START, AND IT MADE THINGS DIFFICULT - IT WAS ESPECIALLY HARD TO SEE THE TRACK. THERE WERE A LOT OF SANDY TRACKS THROUGH THE BUSHES, WHICH WERE TWISTY AND VERY ENJOYABLE.THE PASSES WERE NOT A PROBLEM FOR US, AND WE LED THE WHOLE WAY THROUGH THE STAGE. THE CAR RAN PERFECTLY AND IT WAS ALL VERY PLEASANT AND ENJOYABLE."

SECOND-PLACED SABY AGREED: "IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL STAGE. I PASSED MASUOKA AND OPENED THE ROAD FOR HIM UNTIL THE NEGA PASS. THEN I LET HIM PAST AND DROVE RELATIVELY SLOWLY BEHIND TO SUPPORT HIM IF HE RAN INTO TROUBLE."

JAPANESE DRIVER HIROSHI MASUOKA AND HIS GERMAN CO-DRIVER ANDREAS SCHULZ, WERE FOURTH FASTEST IN THEIR TEAM CAR PLAZA MITSUBISHI OIL RALLIART RVR SPACE RUNNER PROTOTYPE. LIKE THEIR MITSUBISHI TEAM MATES, THEY ENJOYED A PROBLEM-FREE DAY, CROSSING THE BUMPY SAHEL WITH EASE TO HOLD ONTO THIRD PLACE IN THE OVERALL STANDINGS.

MASUOKA REPORTED: "IT WAS A VERY GOOD DAY FOR US AGAIN. WE ADJUSTED THE SUSPENSION AGAIN LAST NIGHT, TO MAKE IT HARDER, AND MY CAR RAN SUPERBLY OVER ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TERRAIN WE CROSSED TODAY. I WAS ABLE TO DRIVE VERY PRECISELY, WITH NO RISKS AND NO MISTAKES."

MITSUBISHI TEAM DIRECTOR ULLRICH BREHMER ADDED: "I AM DELIGHTED WITH THE PROGRESS OF FONTENAY, SABY AND MASUOKA TODAY. I WATCHED FROM THE HELICOPTER AND THESE CARS PERFORMED VERY WELL. I AM VERY HAPPY FOR THESE THREE TONIGHT." ../.. KENJIRO SHINOZUKA AND HENRI MAGNE WERE NOT AS FORTUNTATE AS THEIR TEAM MATES, SUFFERING SEVERAL DELAYS IN THEIR TEAM MITSUBISHI OIL RALLIART PAJERO PROTOTYPE.

SHINOZUKA REPORTED: "WE HAD A BAD DAY TODAY. SHORTLY AFTER THE START, THE GEARBOX TEMPERATURE ROSE SO WE WERE OBLIGED TO DRIVE SLOWLY. IN THE DUNES, WE HIT A ROCK AND DAMAGED THE INTERCOOLER, AND THEN WE SUFFERED ANOTHER SUSPENSION PROBLEM 2O KM BEFORE THE FINISH."

THE CITROEN CAMP SUFFERED SEVERAL DELAYS, INCLUDING FINN ARI VATANEN WHO SPENT NEARLY HALF AN HOUR TRYING TO FIND THE TRACK THROUGH THE NEGA PASS. PIERRE LARTIGUE WAS THIRD QUICKEST AND REMAINED IN THE LEAD, WHILE PHILIPPE WAMBERGUE WAS SIXTH FASTEST TO HOLD ONTO TO HIS DIMINISHING ADVANTAGE OVER MASUOKA AND SECOND PLACE.

MITSUBISHI CONTINUES TO DOMINATE THE T2 CATEGORY FOR MODIFIED PRODUCTION CARS AND THE T1 SECTION FOR NEAR-STANDARD VEHICLES, BUT DUE TO THE DIFFICULTY OF THE TERRAIN TODAY, THEY ARE EXPECTED TO ARRIVE LATE THIS EVENING..


SS12 TICHIT - KIFFA 530KM
1 - JP FONTENAY - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 06:47:07
2 - B. SABY - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 06:56:07
3 - P. LARTIGUE - CITROEN - T3 - 07:01:15
4 - H. MASUOKA - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 07:03:59
5 - A. VATANEN - CITROEN - T3 - 07:21:27 6 - P. WAMBERGUE - CITROEN - T3 - 07:29:41
7 - S. SERVIA - CITROEN - T3 - 07:36:37
8 - K. SHINOZUKA - MITSUBISHI - T3 - 08:40:57
9 - G. VISMARA - SSANGYONG - T3 - 09:01:18
10- V. MOSKOVSKIKH - KAMAZ - T4 - 09:07:20


GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER SS12
1 - P. LARTIGUE/ M. PERRIN (FR) - CITROEN - T3 - 51:20:15
2 - P. WAMBERGUE/ F. GALLAGHER(FR/GB) - CITROEN - T3 - +01:22:58
3 - K. MASUOKA/ A. SCHULZ (J/D) - MITSUBISHI - T3 - +01:42:34
4 - JP.FONTENAY/ B. MUSMARRA (FR) - MITSUBISHI - T3 - +01:50:02
5 - A. VATANEN/ G. PICARD (SF/FR) - CITROEN - T3 - +02:02:40
6 - S. SERVIA/ J. PUIG (SP) - CITROEN - T3 - +03:04:30
7 - B. SABY/ D. SERIEYS (FR) - MITSUBISHI - T3 - +08:46:28
8 - G. VISMARA/ M. CAMBIAGHI (ITA) - SSANGYONG - T3 - +14:39:49
9 - V. MOSKOVSKIKH/ V. KOUZMINE (RUS) - KAMAZ - T4 - +19:32:19
10- M. PRIETO/ J. OLAVE (SP) - MITSUBISHI - T1 - +20:44:19
11- K. LOPRAIS/ TOMECEK (CS) - TATRA - T4 - +21:02:24
12- C. SOUZA/ P. LAROQUE (FR) - MITSUBISHI - T1 - +21:09:20
...


TOMORROW, THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 1996
LEG 12: KIFFA (MAURITANIA) - KAYES (MALI)
DISTANCE: 294 KM
SPECIAL STAGE: 275 KM

TOMORROW, THE REMAINING COMPETITORS IN THIS FIERCELY FOUGHT GRANADA - DAKAR WILL BID FAREWELL TO THE DESERT AND HEAD FOR MALI AND TROPICAL AFRICA.
.../...
HIGH DESERT DUNES AND SANDY TRACKS WILL GIVE WAY TO FAST LATERITE TRACKS AND THE DEEP FOREST.

HOWEVER, ANYONE THINKING THAT THE HARD PART IS OVER IS SADLY MISTAKEN, AS THE 294 KM JOURNEY FROM KIFFA TO KAYES FORMS THE FIRST PART OF THE LAST, PUNISHING MARATHON SECTION, WITH NO AIRBORNE MECHANICS ALLOWED AT THE BIVOUAC IN MALI. ONCE AGAIN, THE COMPETITORS WILL HAVE TO RELY ON THEIR OWN SKILLS, THE SUPPORT FROM THEIR TRUCKS, AND ULTIMATELY, THE RELIABILITY OF THEIR MACHINERY.

THE FIRST OF THE BIKES WILL LEAVE KIFFA AT 07:15 TOMORROW, ARRIVING IN KAYES AT AROUND 11:15. THE CARS START AT 08:35, FINISHING AT APPROXIMATELY 12:35.



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[ COMMUNIQUE 11 ]

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[ COMMUNIQUE 1 ]
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Copyright 1996 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation