RALLY NEW ZEALAND (24-27 JULY)
1998 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 9
1998 ASIA PACIFIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 3

 


1998 RALLY NEW ZEALAND
Saturday 25, July
Leg 1 Totals - 222.83 km - 8 SS in 48.10 km
COMMUNIQUE 2

MITSUBISHI LANCER AND CARISMA MAKE GOOD START TO RALLY NEW ZEALAND


Mitsubishi's Carisma GT and Lancer Evolution have made an encouraging start to the Rally New Zealand, with Carisma driver Richard Burns fourth and Lancer man Tommi Makinen sixth after the first leg of the ninth round of the 1998 World Rally Championship. Mitsubishi Lancers also hold the top three places in the Group N production category, led by Uruguayan Gustavo Trelles.

High winds and torrential rain greeted competitors throughout the eight stages of the first leg, concentrated in Maramarua Forest south of Auckland. Thousands of intrepid spectators trekked into the forests, not in the least deterred by the weather, while the drivers reported that the conditions, though difficult and muddy in places, were not as bad as they had feared.
Burns and fellow Briton Robert Reid have made the running for Mitsubishi, driving neatly and making good use of their Michelin tyres to keep the leaders very much in sight.
"We've been going quite a good pace and the narrow tyre was definitely an improvement as the conditions got worse that last stage was just a mudbath," Burns reported.


Makinen and fellow Finn Risto Mannisenmaki started cautiously in their Lancer Evolution, as Makinen is keen not to repeat last year's accident, but he set some impressive stage times despite a spin on SS6.

"No problems at all. There are still two days to go and I have been a little bit careful, although I lost 15 seconds when I spun, because I was a bit slow to get reverse gear. Tomorrow's stages are quite different and there should be less mud," Makinen said.
"Today has been very short in terms of distance and the rally hasn't established a pattern. Tommi has recovered well from his spin and Richard has gone very well. I'm sure Tommi will settle down to a good pace, but there are some difficult stages to come," concluded Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Manager Phil Short.
Thailand Rally winner Yoshihiro Kataoka has driven well in the rain to hold 12th place, giving him a good chance of improving his position in the Asia-Pacific Championship in his Lancer Evolution, while Ed Ordynski is happy with 13th place in his similar car, despite a spin on SS8.
Mitsubishi traditionally dominates Group N and Uruguay's Gustavo Trelles has rocketed in front in his Lancer Evolution ahead of New Zealander Ross Meekings and Japan's Katsuhiko Taguchi.
The second leg includes 157 kilometres of tough stages north of Auckland.

OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER LEG 1

1.D.AURIOL/D.GIRAUDET F/F TOYOTA COROLLA 27.02.7
2.C.SAINZ/L.MOYA E/E TOYOTA COROLLA 27.04.9
3.C.MCRAE/N.GRIST GB/GB SUBARU IMPREZA 27.07.1
4.R.BURNS/R.REID GB/GB MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT 27.15.7
5.J.KANKKUNEN/J.REPO FIN/FIN FORD ESCORT 27.18.8
6.T.MAKINEN/R.MANNISENMAKI FIN/FIN MITSUBISHI LANCER 27.25.8
7.M.GRONHOLM/T.RAUTIANEN FIN/FIN TOYOTA COROLLA 27.27.2
8.P.LIATTI/F.PONS S/S SUBARU IMPREZA 27.40.2
9.T.RADSTROM/G.BARTH S/S TOYOTA COROLLA 27.49.8
10.P.BOURNE/C.VINCENT S/S SUBARU IMPREZA 27.59.5
16.G.TRELLES/M.CHRISTIE ROU/RA MITSUBISHI LANCER 29.28.3 1st Gr-N


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

 

 

PRE EVENT PRESS RELEASE ENTRY LIST MITSUBISHI LANCER/MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT
SPECIAL STAGE RESULT PHOTO LIBRARY FIA CHAMPIONSHIPS CLASSIFICATIONS
COMMUNIQUE 1 - Leg 1 - 1 SS COMMUNIQUE 2 - Leg 1
COMMUNIQUE 3 - Leg 2 COMMUNIQUE 4 - Leg 3
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Copyright 1998 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.