Network Q Rally of Great Britain
Saturday 21 November
MITSUBISHI RALLIART AIMS FOR
WORLD RALLY DOUBLE IN BRITAIN
Ralliart is bidding to win both the World Rally
Championships for Manufacturers and Drivers
for the first time on the 13th and final round of the
1998 series, the Rally of Great Britain. Mitsubishi
Lancer Evolution driver Tommi Makinen is on the brink of
taking a record-breaking third drivers crown, while
Mitsubishi Carisma GT man Richard Burns aims for his
first home win.
Britains round of the
World Rally Championship (formerly known as the RAC
Rally) is one of the biggest spectator attractions in
motorsport. Up to 2,000,000 people watch the drivers and
cars as they tackle race tracks, stately homes and the
renowned forest stages. Dry weather promises a fast
rally, but the event is rarely predictable and fog, rain,
frost and mud are all possible.
Finn Tommi Makinen and
Risto Mannisenmaki face the event with confidence. Carlos
Sainz on Toyota must finish no lower than fourth against
tough opposition to beat the Mitsubishi crew and Makinen
can afford to finish one place behind and still become
champion unless Sainz wins.
seems very good at the moment our car, the
Michelin tyres even the weather! I am quite
confident", Makinen declared.
Burns and fellow Briton
Robert Reid are hungry for a win that could make
Mitsubishi champion manufacturer and would also prove
that Burns is a match for arch-rival Subarus Colin
McRae on home soil. Victory would almost certainly ensure
that team-mate Makinen retained his world title.
"The fact that
its dry doesnt make it any easier. Its
nice to drive and you can attack more, but theres
still mud at the sides of the road. Itll be
fast", Burns said.
"Good weather takes
away the lottery aspect you get if theres ice or
fog. It allows the drivers to get stuck in and drive as
fast as they can. Weve prepared thoroughly and
were looking forward to it", said Team
Mitsubishi Ralliart Director Andrew Cowan.
Mitsubishi also has high
hopes in the Group N production car category, in which
Lancer Evolutions and Carisma GTs customarily excel.
Austrias Manfred Stohl will be one of the
favourites in his Carisma GT, but no fewer than 22
drivers have chosen Group N Mitsubishis in a field of 170
The 1,892.38 km rally
starts on Sunday, the 310.33 km first leg including 13
short stages in central Britain, which cover 77.94 km, or
19% of the competitive distance. The bulk of the rally is
concentrated in Wales, with the decisive stages taking
place on Monday and Tuesday.