1998 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 5
Rallye MoviStar Catalunya-Costa Brava
Rallye de Espana (20 - 22 April)

 


LANCER EVOLUTION V & CARISMA GT GIVE
TEAM MITSUBISHI RALLIART FRESH HOPE FOR CATALUNYA RALLY


Team Mitsubishi Ralliart stands an excellent chance of winning the fifth round of the 1998 World Rally Championship, Rallye MoviStar Catalunya-Costa Brava (MoviStar: Spanish Telephone Company), for the second year running. World Rally Champion Tommi Makinen, the 1996-7 victor, drives a new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V, while Richard Burns will drive the latest version of the Carisma GT and Uwe Nittel will drive the well-proven previous version of the Carisma GT. With such a strong team, Mitsubishi will be aiming to extend its lead in the World Championship for Manufacturers.

The Catalunya Rally is one of the newest additions to the World Rally Championship, but one of the most popular events. Good organisation and excellent asphalt stages make it a favourite with competitors, while spectators flock to the event in their hundreds of thousands, for Spain is Carlos Sainz's homeland and few drivers have a larger following. It is also a popular event with foreign spectators. Based in Lloret de Mar, a holiday resort on the Mediterranean coast north-east of Barcelona, fine spring weather and a holiday atmosphere make it an attractive destination.

Makinen has led three of this year's four World Championship rallies so far and, somewhat unusually for a Finn, loves driving on asphalt. He and co-driver Risto Mannisenmaki are looking forward to getting their hands on the latest Michelin-shod Lancer Evolution and are brimming with confidence after an encouraging test session in France at the beginning of March.

"Catalunya is always a good rally and I think we can do very well this year. My new Mitsubishi Lancer seems very good on asphalt roads. There is a lot of opposition of course and I think it will be a big battle all through the rally !" said the Finn.

British team-mate Burns, co-driven by Robert Reid, is also looking forward to the event, for he sees it as one of his best chances of a good result this year. Although he has only contested the rally once before, the winner of this year's Safari Rally sees it as the perfect opportunity to prove his worth on asphalt - and believes that the new Carisma GT gives him every chance of doing so.


"Catalunya is good, because the stages are tough, but I don't think they need too much previous knowledge. I really want to prove that I can be as fast on asphalt as on loose surface rallies. I think Mitsubishi has a good chance of winning here anyway," Burns stated.

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart will be present in force, with a second Carisma GT for German star Uwe Nittel and Swedish co-driver Tina Thorner. Nittel has plenty of experience of Spain's World Championship rally and will be doubly keen to score points on one of the most hotly fought rallies of the season.

"This will be a good rally for the Carisma and I think it can be a good rally for us. I had good experience here in a Group N and Group A Mitsubishi Lancer and I have always enjoyed these stages a lot," Nittel declared.

"Catalunya is always a difficult rally, but we are confident this year after testing with the new Lancer and Carisma GT in France and in Spain itself," said Team Manager Phil Short. "Tyres will be important, particularly on the long stages of the second leg, but we're as well prepared as we can be."

"Uwe is gaining confidence in the Carisma GT as he drives it in more rallies. I feel that this can be one of our best rallies this year," said Team Manager Ingolf Raiss.


The event lasts three days and covers 1,471 kilometres, with 19 stages covering 400 kilometres. Each leg starts and finishes in Lloret de Mar, the first and third following a near-identical route on traditional stages around Vic and St. Hilari. The first is marginally the longer of the two, with seven stages totalling 121 kilometres, as against six stages 106 in the final leg. The second leg heads west of Barcelona, for some of the fastest and longest stages of the rally. It promises to be a hard day's competition, with no fewer than 172 kilometres of flat out driving, only one stage of under 20 kilometres and one spanning 45 kilometres - one of the longest in the World Rally Championship.


NEW EVOLUTION PROVES MITSUBISHI'S
COMMITMENT TO TECHNOLOGY


Team Mitsubishi Ralliart's latest rally car looks only subtly different to its predecessor, but the Lancer Evolution V and Carisma GT feature worth while improvements in almost every area. Unlike most of its main rivals in the World Rally Championship, The Lancer Evolution, which is sold under the name Carisma GT in Europe, is a true production car, and this underlines Mitsubishi's willingness to put high technology in its road cars.

The most obvious difference to the Evolution IV is the bodywork. Small flared wheel arches cover an increase in track width of 20 millimetres at the front and 15 millimetres at the rear, increasing the car's width to 1,770 millimetres. The widened track not only improves the steering, but also increases stability during cornering on asphalt, and it should also pay dividends on loose surface rallies. Team Mitsubishi Ralliart engineers have also taken the opportunity to make small adjustments, within the Gr-A regulations, to suspension mounting points to further improve road holding and handling.

Other bodywork modifications include a new front bumper, which increases the flow of air to the radiator and intercooler, new ducts in the bonnet to speed the flow of hot air from the engine bay,.and the rear wing which is now adjustable to match each WRC event.

Light weight is important in any competition car and therefore Mitsubishi has made the bonnet and front wings in aluminium and the rear wheel arch extensions in plastic. As always, particular attention has been paid to accurate chassis build by producing an exceptionally accurate jig. This is an area that is particularly important to Team Mitsubishi Ralliart at the team's European base in Rugby.

The Lancer Evolution has always had one of the most effective engines, but further improvements have been made to the Evolution V and Carisma GT. The latest car has a new engine management system, produced by Mitsubishi Motors. MMC has incorporated all of their years of rallying experience into this new system and created an engine control unit, which processes more information at higher speeds and this means that the already superb engine response of the Evo. IV has been further enhanced. The Evo.V also features an integral data-logging system and a new dashboard, displaying extra data. Much of this is placed in front of the co-driver, so that the crew are aware of potential problems as soon as possible, but the driver is not distracted. Mitsubishi's rallying policy is, and always has been, that the reason for taking part in motorsport is that the improvements in car design that are incorporated in the competition vehicles find their way into production vehicles and make better, safer road cars for the general public. It is to this end that the rally competition vehicles made by Mitsubishi are all based on the production cars sold to the public.

Following this philosophy, the Lancer Evolution V is a road car based Gr-A competition vehicle and it is with this machine that Mitsubishi intends to continue competing against and beating the non-production World Rally Cars fielded by other teams.

Taken as a whole, it makes a formidable package. The Lancer Evolution V/Carisma GT promises to be a worthy successor to a line of exceptional Mitsubishi rally cars.

As a final note, the above mentioned unending search for improvements to production cars is reflected in the fact that the standard car Gr-N class, already dominated worldwide by privateer Mitsubishis, is wholeheartedly endorsed by MMC because we believe that it is in this way that we can best contribute to the long term health of the World Rally Championship.


THE LANCER STORY



The name Lancer has been used on the most potent machines of Mitsubishi's rally stable for the last 25 years.

In the 90's, the Evolutions of the newest version of the Lancer, also known as the Carisma GT, have taken numerous world and regional titles thus adding extra meaning to the name they all bear ; Mitsubishi Lancer.

Appearing first on the 1993 Monte Carlo, the Gr-A Lancer Evolution surprised the opposition with its speed and when the Evo II came out in 1994 it was able to lead WRC rounds and win Asia-Pacific Rally Championship series.

The first WRC victory came 1995 when Kenneth Eriksson in an Evo.II won the Swedish Rally and later that same year Tommi Makinen piloted an Evo.III to victory on his home event, the Finnish Rally of the 1000 Lakes. Mitsubishi also used the Lancer to secure the driver's and manufacturer's titles in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, rounding off a very good season.

1996 saw Tommi Makinen win five WRC events and take the title of World Rally Championship for Driver's and Mitsubishi also retained its Asia-Pacific Manufacturer's title. In 1997 Makinen used the Evo.IV to successfully defend his crown and take a second World Rally Driver's title in a row, incredibly doing the same in the Gr-N world championship, too!

The Evo.V is the latest of the Lancer line, and if recent year's results are any indication it will be a winner like the rest.

HISTORY OF THE LANCER/CARISMA
Total number of WRC Victories - 15
(1973 - Lancer's Debut / 1998 - Lancer's 25th Anniversary)

  Year Rally Car Gr Driver
1 1974 Safari Rally Lancer 1600 GSR 2 Joginder Shingh (Kenya)
2 1976 Safari Rally Lancer 1600 GSR 2 Joginder Shingh (Kenya)
3 1995 Swedish Rally Lancer Evo.II A Kenneth Eriksson (Sweden)
4   Australia Rally Lancer Evo.III A Kenneth Eriksson (Sweden)
5 1996 Swedish Rally Lancer Evo.III A Tommi Makinen (Finland)
6   Safari Rally Lancer Evo.III A Tommi Makinen (Finland)
7   Argentina Rally Lancer Evo.III A Tommi Makinen (Finland)
8   1000 Lakes Rally Lancer Evo.III A Tommi Makinen (Finland)
9   Australia Rally Lancer Evo.III A Tommi Makinen (Finland)
10 1997 Portugal Rally Lancer Evo.IV A Tommi Makinen (Finland)
11   Catalunya Rally Lancer Evo.IV A Tommi Makinen (Finland)
12   Argentina Rally Lancer Evo.IV A Tommi Makinen (Finland)
13   Finland Rally Lancer Evo.IV A Tommi Makinen (Finland)
14 1998 Swedish Rally Lancer Evo.IV A Tommi Makinen (Finland)
15   Safari Rally Carisma GT A Richard Burns ( U.K )



1998 Rallye MoviStar Catalunya-Costa Brava
Rallye de Espana

ITINERARY

LEG 1 : Monday April 20  
09.00 Start from Lloret de Mar  
  SS1 La Trona 12,86 km
  SS2 Alpens-Les Llosses 21,95 km
  SS3 Coll de Santigosa 10,62 km
  SS4 Coll de de Bracons 19,89 km
  SS5 La Fullaca-St Hilari 21,98 km
  SS6 Cladells 15,27 km
  SS7 Sant Feliu-Tossa 18,96 km
18.33 Arrival in Lloret de Mar  
LEG 2 : Tuesday April 21  
07.15 Start from Lloret de Mar  
  SS8 La Riba 32,72 km
  SS9 Prades 13,77 km
  SS10 El Priorat 20,67 km
  SS11 Santa Marina 27,47 km
  SS12 La Figueira-Escaladei 45,57 km
  SS13 La Riba 32,72 km
21.51 Arrival in Lloret de Mar  
LEG 3 : : Wednesday April 22  
06.30 Start from Lloret de Mar    
  SS14 La Trona 12,86 km
  SS15 Alpens-Les Llosses 21,95 km
  SS16 Coll de Santigosa 10,62 km
  SS17 Coll de de Bracons 19,89 km
  SS18 La Fullaca-St Hilari 21,98 km
  SS19 Sant Feliu-Tossa 18,96 km
15.30 Final in Lloret de Mar    



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

 

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Copyright 1998 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.