RALLY OF ARGENTINA(20-23 May)
1998 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 7

 


1998 RALLY ARGENTINA
Wednesday 20th May
LEG 1 - SECTION 1 - 1 Superspecial 4,85 km
COMMUNIQUE N1


MITSUBISHI LANCER AND CARISMA GT MAKE GOOD START TO
RALLY OF ARGENTINA


Team Mitsubishi Ralliart’s powerful team of Lancer Evolutions and Carisma GTs have made a strong start to the Rally of Argentina, the seventh round of the 1998 World Rally Championship, with World Champion Tommi Makinen in a close second place and British Carisma driver Richard Burns just seconds behind in sixth place.

As the only World Championship rally in South America, the Rally of Argentina generates massive interest across the continent and fans packed the super special just outside Cordoba in their tens of thousands to witness the thrilling spectacle of three cars competing side by side on a specially designed track. Indeed, a large crowd had gathered on a warm, sunlit day hours before the stage was due to start.

Double World Champion Makinen, co-driven by fellow-Finn Risto Mannisenmaki, made good use of his Michelin tyres to settle into second place behind Colin McRae in his Subaru. Mere seconds divide the leading drivers, with Ford driver Juha Kankkunen and Toyota’s Carlos Sainz very much in the running. Makinen has a formidable record in Argentina, winning both his previous attempts and he is confident that the latest version of the Lancer Evolution will be in its element on the demanding mountain roads of central Argentina.

“Everything is OK. The first stage was not so long and tomorrow will be very different. The car is much like the previous Lancer, but the engine is better and we have new suspension, which makes it a bit more stable on fast roads. Normally this rally seems to be good for me, so I am looking forward to the rest of it,” Makinen said.

British crew Richard Burns and Robert Reid did light damage to the front of their Carisma GT on a bad bump, but still recorded a fine stage time. Like his team-mate, Burns is sure that the rally will suit his Mitsubishi.

“We’re in good shape for this event. We had a useful test before the start which confirmed the things we’d learnt in Spain with the new Carisma GT. This is my third time on this rally and I’m hoping to be in a position to win. Tommi has always gone well on this rally, I’ve got the same car as he has, so it should be possible for me to do as well,” stated Burns.

“We’re in a good position, but one stage doesn’t prove a great deal,” commented Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Manager Phil Short. “The car works well here and the drivers work well here, but this season has been very unpredictable. I feel we are coming to a crucial part of the championship. If somebody has an advantage with the car or the tyres, it’s going to show. I think this rally is going to be sorted out in leg two. They’re the most difficult and the roughest stages.”


Mitsubishi has also made a fine start in the Group N production car class, in which the Lancer and Carisma GT traditionally excel. Uruguay’s double Group N World Champion Gustavo Trelles grabbed the lead at once over championship leader Manfred Stohl from Austria. Mitsubishis are the most popular choice of car in the rally and there are no fewer than 14 entered in the Group N class, with drivers from as far afield as Poland, Oman and Paraguay. Private drivers know that the Mitsubishi’s combination of performance and strength is unbeatable.

The rally re-starts tomorrow morning with another spectator stage on the edge of Cordoba, followed by a further seven stages in a loop to the north of the town. Competitors will have attempted 130 kilometres flat out before the rest halt on Thursday evening.

OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER SS 1

1.C.MCRAE/N.GRIST GB/GB SUBARU IMPREZA 3.06.5 Gr-A
2.T.MAKINEN/R.MANNISENMAKI FIN/FIN MITSUBISHI LANCER 3.08.1 Gr-A
3.J.KANKKUNEN/J.REPO FIN/FIN FORD ESCORT 3.08.2 Gr-A
4.D.AURIOL/D.GIRAUDET F/F TOYOTA COROLLA 3.10.2 Gr-A
5.P.LIATTI/F.PONS I/I SUBARU IMPREZA 3.10.7 Gr-A
6.R.BURNS/R.REID GB/GB MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT 3.10.9 Gr-A  
7.C.SAINZ/L.MOYA E/E TOYOTA COROLLA 3.11.4 Gr-A
8.K.HOLOWCZYK/M.WISLAWSKI PL/PL SUBARU IMPREZA 3.12.5 Gr-A
9.B.THIRY/S.PREVOT B/B FORD ESCORT 3.13.1 Gr-A
10. M.GALANTI/V.ZUCCHINI PY/RA TOYOTA COROLLA 3.16.5 Gr-A
11.G.TRELLES/M.CHRISTIE ROU/RA MITSUBISHI LANCER 3.20.7 1st Gr-N
13.J.RECALDE/J.GARCIA RA/RA MITSUBISHI LANCER 3.22.2 2nd Gr-N
15.M.STOHL/P.MULLER A/A MITSUBISHI LANCER 3.28.0 3rd Gr-N  
Nationality :
A=Austria/ B=Belgium/ E=Spain/ F=France/ FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ I=Italia/ PY=Paraguay/ P=Poland/ RA=Argentina/ ROU=Uruguay/ S=Sweden/

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.