BAJA PORTUGAL TELECEL 1000 (18-21 JUNE)
1998 FIA WORLD CUP FOR CROSS COUNTRY RALLIES ROUND 5

 


SHINOZUKA PREPARES FOR PORTUGUESE CHALLENGE IN
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BID


Japanese rally driver, Kenjiro Shinozuka, is preparing himself and his Mitsubishi Pajero in a bid to win the fifth round of the series, Baja Portugal TELECEL 1000, which starts in Estoril on June 19, 1998. About 250 vehicles, 100 cars and 150 motorcycles, will take part in this fast and furious event, which will cover 650 km of competition stages with only 3 opportunities for servicing.

Currently lying second in the series, Shinozuka hopes to regain the lead in the World Cup series that he lost on the third round in Tunisia. Throughout the series, the Japanese ace has consistently outperformed his rivals, but, due to sheer bad luck, he finished second in Tunisia and repeated the result on the Atlas Rally.

On the Atlas Rally in Morocco, it was unforeseen punctures that thwarted his efforts in the Mitsubishi Pajero, allowing Jean-Louis Schlesser to sneak past into the lead. The rivalry between Kenjiro and his buggy-driver has now reached fever pitch, promising an exciting climax as the series moves to Portugal in June.

Unlike the longer events such as the famous Paris-Dakar Rally, the Portuguese Baja is a high-pressure 650 km charge that takes place in the open country side. After a brief prologue on June 19th to determine the starting order, the main event takes place in a single day over a rough and dusty route. Devised by veteran competitor Jose Megre and his team at the Club Aventura, the event promises to test man and machine to the extreme.

The rally will be fast and furious, punctuated only by Formula One style "pit stop" servicing at the side of the track. Reliability will be of the utmost importance, as servicing takes place against the clock, and the competitors cannot afford more than a few minutes, if not seconds, to allow mechanics to effect repairs. These factors should favour Shinozuka who has the comfort of driving the famously reliable Mitsubishi Pajero.

The course promises to be sinuous and highly technical, demanding high levels of driving skill and the best handling and traction along the twisty gravel roads in the Portuguese countryside, which again should hand Kenjiro the advantage with his noted skill and experience, and the Pajero, which handles superbly.

The event finishes back in Estoril on June 20 after a tough day in what promises to be a hotly contested event, and if luck is on his side, Shinozuka will hopefully regain his position at the top of the championship table, sending him well on his way to the championship crown he so richly deserves.

Shinozuka comment: "The course is quite narrow and twisty and I think that it favors us. In the previous round, the Atlas, I was counting on winning but repeated punctures meant that we had to be satisfied with second. However, our actual driving during that rally felt great and what I hope to do is bring that feeling to Portugal and drive in the same way. I really want to win this time".

THE 11th BAJA PORTUGAL TELECEL 1000

ITINERARY

18 June Scrutineering in Jamor (half way between Estoril and Lisbon)
19 June Prologue in Jamor about 5 km
20 June SS in Estoril about 650 km
21 June Prizes Giving in Estoril  


* The detailed information hasn't been announced by the organization as of 11 June.


Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution T2
(Improved cross-country cars)


DIMENSIONS  
Length 4,030 mm
Width 1,975 mm
Wheelbase 2,420 mm
Weight 1750 kg
Engine Type 6G74 V6 DOHC 24-valve MIVEC
Displacement 3,497 cc
Bore/stroke 93.0 x 85.8 mm
Maximum torque 36 m/kg at 3500 rpm
Maximum power 260 bhp at 6000 rpm
Transmission manual 6-speed gearbox
Suspension front double wishbone with coil springs
Suspension rear double wishbone with coil springs
Brakes entilated discs + 4-pot caliper
Tyres Michelin 16/78-16
Fuel capacity 400 litres
Maximum speed 180 km/h


 

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© Copyright 1998 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.