1998 ACROPOLIS RALLY
Monday 8, June
LEG 2 - 339.02 km - 5 SS 128.29 km
MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT PERFORMS WELL IN ACROPOLIS RALLY
AS LANCER EVOLUTIONS HEAD GROUP N
Mitsubishi Carisma GT driver Richard Burns held
a fighting fifth place after the second leg of the
Acropolis Rally, the eighth round of the 1998 World Rally
Championship, well in touch with the leaders, while
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions have continued to dominate
the Group N production class with double World Group N
Champion Gustavo Trelles.
Most of the leg took place in fierce heat and hot
sunshine, but a thunderstorm affected the last stage of
the day. It did nothing to cool the pace of a hotly
fought rally in which Mitsubishi has faced strong
opposition from Toyota, Subaru and Ford, nor to dampen
the enthusiasm of the thousands of Greek fans in the
Burns has paid the price for leading after the first leg,
which means he has run first on the road today and
therefore ploughed loose gravel for his rivals.
Nevertheless, the Carisma GT and its Michelin tyres have
performed flawlessly to give him a strong chance of
improving his position tomorrow.
Ive worked hard today harder than
yesterday and Ill be trying hard tomorrow,
as the car is in good shape. I didnt expect to lose
quite so much time, Burns stated.
Sadly, Germanys Uwe Nittel and Tina Thorner were
forced to retire their Carisma GT with a transmission
problem when running well in eighth place.
It was really bad luck. The car had been going very
well and I thought we had a good chance of improving our
position, said Nittel.
Running first on the road has handicapped us more
than I thought, partly because of the surface, partly
because Richard has had to alert the spectators, but
were still in the points and we could improve our
position tomorrow, stated Team Mitsubishi Ralliart
Team Manager Phil Short.
It is a great shame that Uwe retired. Everything
was looking very good for a strong finish,
commented Team Manager Ingolf Raiss.
Mitsubishi has continued to dominate in Group N, the
toughest test of a production car. Uruguays Gustavo
Trelles leads in his Lancer Evolution, while Omans
Hamed al Wahaibi is second in his Lancer. Austrian star
Manfred Stohl was leading by a convincing margin until he
left the road in his Lancer after stage 11.
The last leg is identical to the second, consisting of a
loop of five stages, totalling 128 kilometres, north-west
of Delphi. However, the roads are likely to be even
rougher after being used once already.
CLASSIFICATION AFTER LEG 2
AUS=Australia/ B=Belgium/ CZ=Czechoslovakia/
D=Germany/ E=Spain/ F=France/
FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ GR=Greece/
I=Italia/ MC=Monaco/ OM=Oman/
RA=Argentina/ ROU=Uruguay/ RUS=Russia/