16th RALLYE ATLAS SAVANE (7-16 MAY)
1998 FIA WORLD CUP FOR CROSS COUNTRY RALLIES ROUND 4

 


SHINOZUKA TO CHALLENGE FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
LEAD FOR MITSUBISHI


Currently second in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rally Championship, Japan most successful rally driver, Kenjiro Shinozuka of PIAA Mitsubishi Dealer Team, is hoping to retake the series lead with victory on the Savane Atlas Rally, which takes place in Spain and Morocco from May 7.

Driving his Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution, Shinozuka led the world title race until the third round in Tunisia, where he was knocked off the top spot by Jean-Louis Schlesser in a prototype buggy after a run of bad luck. However, Shinozuka is looking forward to the tough, often mountainous competitive sections of the Atlas Rally, and vows : “ I won’ t let what happened on the Tunisia Rally happen again ! ”

After scrutineering and eligibility checks in Granada, Spain on May 7-8, the rally heads south to the coastal town of Matril, before crossing the Mediterranean to Africa, and the first of seven stages in Morocco. Once in Africa, the competitors will enjoy some of the finest and most varied scenery and landscapes on the continent, although they will not have much time to take in the views, with average stage lengths of around 300 km over some of the toughest terrain Africa has to offer.


The early part of the event will feature rocky mountain stages on narrow tracks through the foothills of the spectacular Atlas range, before diving into the famously beautiful valleys with their numerous oasis and into the desert terrain of the Erg Chebbi.

The rally will end in the historic town of Marrakesh with a final spectator special stage of just 20 km along the edge of Lake Takerhoust, before a “ surprise lunch with VIPs flown in from Paris ” say the organiser.

It will doubtless be a tough eight days for Shinozuka and his many rivals, but the Japanese ace is confident of a good result in his Mitsubishi Pajero, arguably the most reliable and successful cross country machine in recent motor sport history.

Shinozuka said "I hate being two victories down on Schlesser but the Atlas is a rally that is mainly mountain roads and is a course that will suit the Pajero. Also, the corners are flowing and continuous and it's this kind of road that is my speciality so I think I have a very good chance at winning."



16th RALLYE ATLAS SAVANE (7-16 MAY)

ITINERARY

7/8 May Scrutineering GRANADA        
      Liaison Special Stages Liaison Total
             
9 May 1st Leg GRANADA-ALMERIA 30 km 54 km 120 km 204 km
10 May 2nd Leg NADOR-OUTAT OULAD EL HAJ 130 km 182 km 27 km 339 km
11 May 3rd Leg OUTAT OULAD EL HAJ-MIDELT 10 km 205 km 216 km 474 km
12 May 4th Leg MIDELT-ERFOUD 45 km 202 km 45 km 428 km
13 May 5th Leg ERFOUD-ERFOUD 112 km 224 km 45 km 314 km
14 May 6th Leg ERFOUD-TAZZARINE   238 km 6 km 244 km
15 May 7th Leg TAZZARINE-OUARZAZATE 10 km 257 km 123 km 390 km
16 May 8th Leg OUARZAZATE-MARRAKESH 74 km 106 km 188 km 376 km

 

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