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

 


1998 ACROPOLIS RALLY
Sunday 7, June
LEG 1 366.48 km - 6 SS 111.53 km
COMMUNIQUE 2

MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT LEADS ACROPOLIS RALLY


Team Mitsubishi Ralliart is in an excellent position after the first leg of the Acropolis Rally, the eighth round of the 1998 World Rally Championship, as Carisma GT driver Richard Burns leads, while Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution head the Group N production class, with Austrians Manfred Stohl/Peter Muller in front.

The first day of the Acropolis has been as tough as ever, for although some of the stages have been smoother, sweltering, 34-degree heat has tested the drivers’ fitness – not to mention the car and the tyres – to the limit. Huge crowds thronged the rocky, twisty stages winding through olive groves, eager to catch a glimpse of the drivers as they battled for fractions of seconds.

Burns and fellow Briton Robert Reid have judged the pace superbly, making the most of the latest Michelin tyres to lead for much of the day, despite intense pressure from rivals in Subarus and Toyotas, but Ford man Bruno Thiry retired with engine trouble.

“I’ve tried to be consistent, but I’ve been pushing at the same time. The car has been good and today has gone well,” Burns stated.

Germany’s Uwe Nittel and Sweden’s Tina Thorner have put on a fine showing in their Carisma GT to take eighth place, well in touch with the leaders.


“It’s been a tough day. It’s been hot and rough, but I’m pleased with the car and our performance,” said Nittel.

Sadly, double World Champion Tommi Makinen and Risto Mannisenmaki retired when their Lancer Evolution suffered a freak electrical problem that cost them too much time to make it worth continuing.

“It was just one, small electrical connection and we couldn’t find the problem, so we lost too much time to get any points, with so many good cars here,” said Makinen.


“It’s been a day of substantial highs and substantial lows. Losing Tommi was a blow, but Richard has compensated with an excellent drive. We look forward to tomorrow with some optimism,” commented Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Manager Phil Short. “Uwe has driven well, but the toughest part of the rally is still to come,” added Team Manager Ingolf Raiss.

Mitsubishi has taken command in the Group N class, the hardest test of a normal production car. The Lancer Evolutions have taken the top three places.

The second leg includes five tough stages, totalling 128 kilometres, in a loop north-west of Delphi.

OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER LEG 1

1.R.BURNS/R.REID GB/GB MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT 1.18.28.2 Gr-A
2.C.MCRAE/N.GRIST GB/GB SUBARU IMPREZA 1.18.30.6 Gr-A
3.D.AURIOL/D.GIRAUDET F/F TOYOTA COROLLA 1.18.39.9 Gr-A
4.P.LIATTI/F.PONS I/I SUBARU IMPREZA 1.18.48.1 Gr-A
5.J.KANKKUNEN/J.REPO FIN/FIN FORD ESCORT 1.18.54.4 Gr-A
6.F.LOIX/S.SMEETS B/B TOYOTA COROLLA 1.18.59.8 Gr-A
7.C.SAINZ/L.MOYA E/E TOYOTA COROLLA 1.19.16.7 Gr-A
8.U.NITTEL/T.THORNER D/S MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT 1.19.24.1 Gr-A
9.R.MADEIRA/N.DA SILVA P/P TOYOTA COROLLA 1.21.42.8 Gr-A
10.L.KIRKOS/J.STAVROPOULOS GR/GR FORD ESCORT 1.22.16.1 Gr-A
18.M.STOHL/P.MULLER A/A MITSUBISHI LANCER 1.25.15.6 1stGr-N
24.H.AL WAHAIBI/T.HARRYMAN OM/GB MITSUBISHI LANCER 1.26.16.3 2ndGr-N
25.G.TRELLES/M.CHRISTIE ROU/RA MITSUBISHI LANCER 1.26.25.2 3rdGr-N

COMMUNIQUE 4

COMMUNIQUE 3

COMMUNIQUE 1

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

 

 

PRE EVENT PRESS RELEASE ENTRY LIST MITSUBISHI LANCER/MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT
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Copyright 1998 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.