1998 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies
ITALIAN BAJA (5-8 MARCH)

 


SHINOZUKA LEADS FIA WORLDCROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER ROUND 2


Japan’s most famous rally driver, Kenjiro Shinozuka leads the FIA World Cross Country Rally Championship after finish second on the second round, the Italian Baja, in his PIAA
Mitsubishi Dealer Team Pajero Evolution.

Shinozuka, the only Japanese driver ever to win the Paris-Dakar with his amazing victory in 1997, finished second on the same event this year. The “Dakar” formedthe first round of the new Cross Country World series this season.

The Italian Baja, which started on March 6 with a prologue, followed by two days of tough driving over a 128.12 km course repeated five times, was centred on the town of Pordenone in the north east of Italy.
The terrain featured sand, gravel, grass and dirt roads in complete contrasts to the “Dakar” in Africa, in which the Mitsubishi Pajeros took the first three places for the past two years.

Nevertheless Shinozuka led the even initially, and was only overtaken by Jean-Louis Schlesser’s buggy near to the end when the tracks became deeply rutted. Second place was more than enough, however, Shinozuka to clinch the championship lead for Mitsubishi.

Said Shinozuka after the event : “I think that this was the most unusual round of the series and an especially difficult one for 4x4 cars. It’s like a dirt trails course which hands the advantage to the Protrucks and buggies. The Pajero was quite fast when the route was not bumpy, but when I came across the deep ruts I had to slow a little. This unusual terrain was ideal for the buggies which are built especially for this, but for normal 4x4 cars it was hell ! The other rallies will be more to our liking and suit the Pajero better, so I hope I will win them. I’m now looking forward to Tunisia, the next round.”

FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

1.JL.SCHLESSER/P.MONNET F/F SCHLESSER DSC 7 7.11.23
2.K.SHINOZUKA/H.MAGNE J/F MITSUBISHI PAJERO 7.13.34
3.A.LEDUC CURT/G.ALBIERO USA/I PRO TRUCK 7.14.44
4.B.HANCIAUX/M.DOMINELLA B/I NISSAN PATROL 8.16.36
5.F.GERMANETTI/O.PIALIN I/RU NISSAN PATROL 8.20.07
6.J.VAN CAUWENBERGE/M.DEVOS B/B TOYOTA HDJ 80 8.37.16
7.B.ANQUETIL/R.PRIVE F/F NISSAN PATROL 8.39.09
8.PL.ROVEGNO/I.PASSARELLA I/I MITSUBISHI 8.40.19
9.PL.ZANETTI/C.DAL ZOTTO I/I MITSUBISHI PAJERO 8.43.12
10.S.QUANDT/P.TIEFENBACH D/D MITSUBISHI PAJERO 8.44.07
Nationality:
A=Austria/ AUS=Australia/ AND=Andorra/ E=Spain/ CZ=Czech Republic/ D=Germany/ F=France/ FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ GR=Greece/ I=Italy/ J=Japan/ MAL=Malaysia/ NZ=New Zealand/ RA=Argentine/ RI=Indonesia/ ROU=Uruguay/ S=Sweden/ T=Thailand/ USA=United States
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© Copyright 1998 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.