RALLYE OPTIC 2000 DE TUNISIE (2-11 APRIL)
1998 WORLD CUP FOR CROSS COUNTRY RALLIES ROUND 3

 



MITSUBISHI'S SHINOZUKA LEADS ATTACK


Driving a Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero, 1997 Dakar winner and Japanese rally ace Kenjiro Shinozuka is aiming to extend his lead in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies by winning the Rally of Tunisia which starts from Nice on April 2, 1998. It is the 3rd round of 1998, after the first round at the Paris-Dakar and the second round, the Italian Baja.

Of the 85 entrants in this popular Cross Country Rally, Mitsubishi is fielding the strongest team led by Kenjiro Shinozuka who recently took 2nd overall in the '98 Dakar and '98 Italian Baja.

The biggest challenge facing the Mitsubishis will be the arduous route, which runs for eight days of hard driving and navigation through Tunisia's beguiling but hazardous terrain, and finishes in Tozeur on Saturday, April 11.

Before they reach Africa, however, the contestants in this year's event will face a Prologue stage in Nice, starting two at a time on parallel tracks for the entertainment of the many spectators expected, followed by two days of competitive driving in Sardinia, an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. Then, they will take a trip on the luxury cruise liner, the Napoleon Bonaparte, before landing on the golden sands on Tunisia in Northern Africa.

It is in Africa where the rally will be won or lost, especially in the towering sand dunes of the Grand Erg Oriental, one of Africa's most spectacular sights. Before they reach the dunes, however, they will also complete a hazardous trip over 300 km long through a new mountain route which winds through mountains and canyons dotted with wild cactus.

There will be over 2000 km of competitive driving, the competitors tackling around 200 to 300 km per day, but life should be made much easier during the gruelling competition because the evening meals are being provided by the chef from Lucas Carton, a three-star Michelin rated restaurant in
Paris!

Despite being favourites in the all-conquering Mitsubishi Pajeros / Monteros of both Shinozuka and '98 Dakar victor Jean-Pierre Fontenay will face stiff competition from the world's top cross country exponents, including eight-time Tunisia winner Pierre Lartigue, who will drive an Audi-powered Buggy Ipso, Jean-Louis Schlesser in his Buggy, and Thierry Delavergne and Philippe Alliot for Nissan. In the class for near-standard cars, T1, there will be few who could hope to challenge Frenchman
Jean-Pierre Strugo, Italian Thierry Andretta and German Sven Quandt who are hot favourites for the class honours in their Mitsubishi Pajero / Monteros.


1998 RALLYE OPTIC 2000 DE TUNISIE

ITINERARY

1st April Scrutineering NICE
2nd April Prologue NICE
3rd April 1st Leg SARDINIA (Porto Torres - Alghero)
    Liaison 316 km - SS 68 km
4th April 2nd Leg SARDINIA (Alghero - Cagliari)
    Liaison 303 km - SS 102 km
5th April   TUNISIA (Tunis - Le Kef)
    Liaison 194 km
6th April 3rd Leg TUNISIA (Le Kef - Sabria)
    Liaison 234 km - SS 270
7th April 4th Leg TUNISIA (Sabria - El Borma)
    Liaison 47 km - SS 298
8th April 5th Leg TUNISIA (El Borma - El Borma)
    Liaison 52 km - SS 268
9th April 6th Leg TUNISIA (El Borma - Ksar Ghilane)
    Liaison 26 km - SS 331
10th April 7th Leg TUNISIA (Ksar Ghilane - Douz)
    SS 304
11th April 8th Leg TUNISIA (Douz - Tozeur)
    Liaison 72 km - SS 195

 

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© Copyright 1998 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.