API RALLY AUSTRALIA (5-8 November)

1998 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 12
1998 ASIA PACIFIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 5


1998 API RALLY AUSTRALIA
Thursday 5 November
COMMUNIQUE 1



TEAM MITSUBISHI RALLIART LEADS RALLY AUSTRALIA

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart's Winfield-backed Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions and Carisma GTs are already making an impact on the Rally Australia, the penultimate round of the 1998 World Rally Championship, as World Rally Champion Tommi Makinen is sharing the lead after the first stage.

The Rally Australia is one of the most demanding and popular rounds of the World Rally Championship, thanks to slick organisation and ultra-fast, very slippery stages in the forests around Perth. The Langley Park super special that opened the rally is one of the highlights of the event, with its large crowds and carnival atmosphere as the cars duel side by side on a specially constructed track beside the Swan River in central Perth. Rain failed to dampen the fans' enthusiasm as the rally burst into life with the spectacular city stage.

Makinen, who won this event two years ago and finished a close second last year, believes that the odds are running in his favour as the season builds to a climax. Co-driven by fellow Finn Risto Mannisenmaki, he is delighted with the results of recent testing in his Michelin-equipped Evolution.

"This rally has been very good for me. It is my fifth time here and I know the stages very well. I am looking forward to Friday morning when we go to the forest. At least we beat Carlos Sainz on the first stage!" he declared.

British team-mates Richard Burns and Robert Reid are just as confident of a good result in their Carisma GT.

"We were quick last year and I think we could have done even better with a bit more experience. We'll be going for a win. I was just a bit slow on the jump tonight," Burns commented.

Australia's Ed Ordynski and Mark Stacey have also made a strong start in their Lancer Evolution. "I'd be delighted to finish in the top 10 with such a strong entry, but I think I'm improving with age," Ordynski said.

It will be the last rally of 1998 for triple World Group N Champion Gustavo Trelles. As ever, the Uruguayan driver is one of the favourites for the production class, but he faces considerable opposition, mostly from other Mitsubishi drivers in a category dominated by Lancer Evolutions. He was second after the first stage to fellow Mitsubishi driver Manfred Stohl. Yoshihiro Kataoka and fellow Japanese Satoru Hayashi are going all-out to win the coveted Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in their Lancer Evolution, while the new Malaysian Rally Champion, Katsuhiko Taguchi of Japan, is aiming to clinch the Group N trophy in his Lancer Evolution with Australian Fred Gocentas.

The rally re-starts on Friday morning for another 10 stages, totalling 132 kilometres, around York and Mundaring.

 


SS 1 - LANGLEY PARK 1 - 2.20 km - Thursday 5 November

Times on Special Stage 1
1 T.MAKINEN
R.MANNISENMAKI
MITSUBISHI
LANCER
1.32.0
1 D.AURIOL
D.GIRAUDET
TOYOTA
COROLLA
1.32.0
3 C.SAINZ
L.MOYA
TOYOTA
COROLLA
1.32.3
4 J.KANKKUNEN
J.REPO
FORD
ESCORT
1.32.8
5 F.LOIX
S.SMEETS
TOYOTA
COROLLA
1.33.1
6 C.McRAE
N.GRIST
SUBARU
IMPREZA
1.33.4
7 R. BURNS
R. REID
MITSUBISHI
CARISMA GT
1.33.5
8 B.THIRY
S.PREVOT
FORD
ESCORT
1.33.8
9 N.BATES
C.TAYLOR
TOYOTA
COROLLA
1.34.0
10 P.LIATTI
F.PONS
SUBARU
IMPREZA
1.34.2
18 E.ORDYNSKI
M.STACEY
MITSUBISHI
LANCER
1.40.3
19 Y.KATAOKA
S.HAYASHI
MITSUBISHI
LANCER
1.40.8
20 M.STOHL
P.MULLER
MITSUBISHI
CARISMA GT
1.40.9
 
Overall after Special Stage 1
1 T.MAKINEN
R.MANNISENMAKI
MITSUBISHI
LANCER
1.32.0
1 D.AURIOL
D.GIRAUDET
TOYOTA
COROLLA
1.32.0
3 C.SAINZ
L.MOYA
TOYOTA
COROLLA
1.32.3
4 J.KANKKUNEN
J.REPO
FORD
ESCORT
1.32.8
5 F.LOIX
S.SMEETS
TOYOTA
COROLLA
1.33.1
6 C.McRAE
N.GRIST
SUBARU
IMPREZA
1.33.4
7 R. BURNS
R. REID
MITSUBISHI
CARISMA GT
1.33.5
8 B.THIRY
S.PREVOT
FORD
ESCORT
1.33.8
9 N.BATES
C.TAYLOR
TOYOTA
COROLLA
1.34.0
10 P.LIATTI
F.PONS
SUBARU
IMPREZA
1.34.2
18 E.ORDYNSKI
M.STACEY
MITSUBISHI
LANCER
1.40.3
19 Y.KATAOKA
S.HAYASHI
MITSUBISHI
LANCER
1.40.8
20 M.STOHL
P.MULLER
MITSUBISHI
CARISMA GT
1.40.9





 

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Copyright 1998 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.