ACROPOLIS RALLY (7-9 June)
1998 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 8

 


1998 ACROPOLIS RALLY
Saturday 6, June
COMMUNIQUE N1


MITSUBISHI’S LANCER AND CARISMA GT READY FOR ACROPOLIS RALLY ATTACK


Team Mitsubishi Ralliart is full of confidence as it prepares for the Acropolis Rally, the eighth round of the 1998 World Rally Championship, following the successes of Lancer Evolution driver Tommi Makinen and Carisma GT men Richard Burns and Uwe Nittel. Mitsubishi also has high hopes of another triumph in the Group N production car category.

The Acropolis, which is renowned as the toughest rally in Europe, has a new look to it, for only 70 of the 388 kilometres of stages were used last year.
In general, the route is smoother and faster, but it will be extremely hot and immensely punishing for the cars nonetheless. Many of the stages are very abrasive, but Michelin has produced a new tyre, known as the ZB, which has bigger tread blocks and therefore wears more slowly.

Double World Champion Tommi Makinen and fellow Finn Risto Mannisenmaki put Mitsubishi back on top in the manufacturers’ race with their stirring victory in Argentina and Makinen is confident that minor rear suspension changes will make the Lancer Evolution better still in Greece.

“I have a very good feeling with the car now. I think it is time I won the Acropolis!” Makinen stated.

Safari winner Richard Burns and co-driver Robert Reid – the most consistent crew in the World Championship – are eager to build on last year’s experience and gain another good result in Greece.


“This is a tough event and it’s going to be important to look after the car, but I think if anything it’s smoother than Argentina, so it will be fast,” Burns said.

Germany’s Uwe Nittel and Swedish navigator Tina Thorner are also driving a Carisma GT and stand to do well on an event that suits car and driver.

“I’m looking forward to the Acropolis. I don’t think experience matters so much here, so the new stages give us all a chance,” Nittel stated.


“We were happy with the cars’ performance in Argentina, so they should stand up to the Acropolis,” said Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Manager Phil Short. “It would appear that the first leg is smoother than last year, but still abrasive. Our feeling is that the roads will be clean up in the second leg as gravel is swept clear, but rocks will be pulled out. Leg three will be critical.” Team Manager Ingolf Raiss added, “Stages 10 and 11 are particularly rough, but we are sure the car is strong enough”.

The first leg of the 1031-kilometre rally begins on Sunday at 08.30 and competitors face seven stages, totalling 132 kilometres, before the halt in Delphi.

COMMUNIQUE 4

COMMUNIQUE 3

COMMUNIQUE 2

MICHELIN - MITSUBISHI OIL - ENKEI - NGK - OHLINS - OMP -
PIAA - PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND - SABELT

 

 

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Copyright 1998 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.