PRE EVENT PRESS RELEASE ENTRY LIST MITSUBISHI LANCER/MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT
SPECIAL STAGE RESULT PHOTO LIBRARY DAILY COMMUNIQUE

1998 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 3
SAFARI RALLY KENYA (27 FEB.-2 MARCH)

SAFARI RALLY KENYA ‘98
Monday 2, March
LEG 3 - 560,82 kms - 5 CS 341,35 kms
COMMUNIQUE N 4


MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT WINS SAFARI RALLY KENYA AND
LANCER TAKES 1-2 IN GROUP N


Team Mitsubishi Ralliart driver Richard Burns scored his first ever World Championship rally victory, taking the Safari Rally in brilliant style, simultaneoulsy giving the Carisma GT, launched a year ago, its first major victory. The 27-year-old British driver’s success – Mitsubishi’s fourth win on the gruelling Safari – has given Mitsubishi the lead in the 1998 World Rally Championship.

Competitors faced some 560 kilometres of hard driving to the south and west of Nairobi on the final day of the Safari, on roads that they had already tackled in the first leg. As a result, they were rougher than ever and Burns admitted that he had a few scares when he found deep ruts, as well as large rocks in the road that had been loosened by the passage of so many rally cars. Early cloud gave way to fierce sunshine and high temperatures, adding to the strain on worn machinery. The pace was too much for the Toyota of Carlos Sainz, which retired with broken rear suspension. Large crowds turned out to witness this uniquely demanding event, which is easily the longest and roughest round of the World Rally Championship, totalling more than 2,200 kilometres.

Burns and co-driver Robert Reid faced enormous pressure as they neared their first victory, but judged the final day superbly to nurse their car to the finish, shrewdly letting the Ford drivers gain a little time without jeopardising their lead.
The Carisma GT was more than equal to the strain – telling proof of the quality of Mitsubishi engineering, as it was exactly the same car that the crew had driven to second place in 1997. The strain on Burns was re-doubled when he hit a rock on the day’s first section and damaged the sump, which led to low oil pressure. The Team Mitsubishi Ralliart mechanics responded superbly to replace it in 22 minutes – an incredible feat for a task that normally takes 30 minutes – to keep him in the lead and at the head of the field.

“This victory has made me a lot happier. It has been the most nerve-wracking day of my life, but I really wanted to win. There are so many unknown factors with this rally, but I had the experience to do it and the car to do it. The mechanics have been fantastic and we haven’t had a puncture all rally, which says a lot for Michelin. It’s also very nice to give the Carisma GT its first win – I think we’re developing together,” Burns stated.

“It’s very special. To win any rally is special, but having been there and competed, I know how difficult the Safari is and how it can kick back when you think you’re doing well. To win the rally with two young guys like Richard and Robert, who have been part of the team for three years is fantastic,” said Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Director Andrew Cowan. “It is one of the most difficult rallies in the world and they’ve won it from the front. To have a second driver who can go out there and get on the pace is good for the whole team. This is a very important victory.”

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions are the cars to beat in the Group N production category and they usually crush all opposition, but this was a notable occasion, because it was Mitsubishi’s first Group N win on the Safari. Even the worst of the Kenyan roads could stop the Lancers and Luis Climent of Spain took a comfortable victory over second-placed Austrian Manfred Stohl, who finished more than one hour ahead of the best non-Mitsubishi.


“This was my first Safari and it was as rough and difficult as I expected,” Climent declared. “I thought the local drivers might have an advantage from their greater experience, but we settled into the right pace from the start. This is a perfect result for us: now we share the lead of the Group N World Rally Championship with Stohl.”

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart will be in action again soon on the Rally of Portugal, which starts on March 22.

 

 

 

 

 

FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

1.R.BURNS/R.REID GB/GB MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT 8.57.34 Gr-A
2.J.KANKKUNEN /J.REPO FIN/FIN FORD ESCORT 9.07.01 Gr-A
3.A.VATANEN/F.GALLAGHER FIN/GB FORD ESCORT 9.07.26 Gr-A
4.D.AURIOL/D.GIRAUDET F/F TOYOTA COROLLA 9.12.00 Gr-A
5.H.ROVANPERA/V.SILANDER FIN/FIN SEAT IBIZA 11.03.12 Gr-A
6.R.BAUMSCHLAGER/K.WICHA A/D VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI 11.18.35 Gr-A
7.L.CLIMENT/A.ROMANI E/E MITSUBISHI LANCER 11.25.37 1stGr-N
8.K.ROSENBERGER/P.CARLSSON A/S VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI 11.43.21 Gr-A
9.M.BRIGHETTI/A.SIDI EAK/EAK SUBARU IMPREZA 11.53.35 Gr-A
10. K.HIRJI/F.NEKUSA EAU/EAU TOYOTA CELICA 12.01.03 Gr-A
11.M.STOHL/K.GERLACH D/D MITSUBISHI LANCER 12.15.15 2ndGr-N
Nationality:
A=Austria/ AUS=Australia/ AND=Andorra/ E=Spain/ CZ=Czech Republic/ D=Germany/ EAK=Kenya/ EAU=Uganda/ F=France/ FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ GR=Greece/ J=Japan/ MAL=Malaysia/ NZ=New Zealand// RA=Argentine/ RI=Indonesia/ ROU=Uruguay/ S=Sweden/ T=Thailand/

THE SAFARI RALLY KENYA ‘98

STATISTICS


Dates
: 27 February- 2 March 1998
Length
: 2220.52 kms
Total SS
: 1063.49 kms on 16 Competitive Sections

Entries
: 55 (31 Group A + 24 Group N)

Starters
: 49 (28 Group A + 21 Group N)

Makes
: Subaru 18, Mitsubishi 10, Toyota 6, Ford 5, Hyundai 4, Seat 3, Daewoo 3, Nissan 2, Volkswagen 2, Audi 1, Peugeot 1

Nations
(first drivers) : A 4, AND 1, E 3, EAK 25, EAU 2, F 2, GB 8, I 1, J 1, NL 1, PL 1, FIN 5, USA 1.

Overall winners
:

1.R.BURNS/R.REID GB/GB MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT 8.57.34 Gr-A
2.J.KANKKUNEN /J.REPO FIN/FIN FORD ESCORT 9.07.01 Gr-A
3.A.VATANEN/F.GALLAGHER FIN/GB FORD ESCORT 9.07.26 Gr-A
4.D.AURIOL/D.GIRAUDET F/F TOYOTA COROLLA 9.12.00 Gr-A
5.H.ROVANPERA/V.SILANDER FIN/FIN SEAT IBIZA 11.03.12 Gr-A
6.R.BAUMSCHLAGER/K.WICHA A/D VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI 11.18.35 Gr-A
7.L.CLIMENT/A.ROMANI E/E MITSUBISHI LANCER 11.25.37 1stGr-N
8.K.ROSENBERGER/P.CARLSSON A/S VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI 11.43.21 Gr-A
9.M.BRIGHETTI/A.SIDI EAK/EAK SUBARU IMPREZA 11.53.35 Gr-A
10. K.HIRJI/F.NEKUSA EAU/EAU TOYOTA CELICA 12.01.03 Gr-A
11.M.STOHL/K.GERLACH D/D MITSUBISHI LANCER 12.15.15 2ndGr-N
Nationality:
A=Austria/ AUS=Australia/ AND=Andorra/ E=Spain/ CZ=Czech Republic/ D=Germany/ EAK=Kenya/ EAU=Uganda/ F=France/ FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ GR=Greece/ J=Japan/ MAL=Malaysia/ NZ=New Zealand// RA=Argentine/ RI=Indonesia/ ROU=Uruguay/ S=Sweden/ T=Thailand/


Stages winners
: McRae 4, Makinen 3, Burns 3, Kankkunen 2, Vatanen 1, Auriol 1, Liatti 1, Sainz 1

Rally leaders
: 1 Burns, 2-10 Makinen, 11-16 Burns

World Championship for Drivers
: Sainz 16, Kankkunen 16, Burns 12, Makinen 10, Auriol 4, Vatanen 4, McRae 4, Eriksson 3, Liatti 3, Gronholm 2, Thiry 1, Rovanpera 2,

World Championship for Manufacturers:
Mitsubishi 22, Ford 21, Toyota 19, Subaru 10.


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

- Communique 3 -

- Communique 2 -

- Communique 1 -

PRE EVENT PRESS RELEASE ENTRY LIST MITSUBISHI LANCER/MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT
SPECIAL STAGE RESULT PHOTO LIBRARY DAILY COMMUNIQUE
TOP PAGE



--------------------

Copyright 1998 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.