Former Grand Prix star and rally rookie Erik Comas has joined forces with Mitsubishi to contest the penultimate round of the 2000 FIA World Rally Championship, Telstra Rally Australia (10-12 November).
French-born Comas, who has only previously contested three rallies, will be driving a Loctite-supported Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in what is regarded as the flag-ship event of the series. However, despite competing in Australia previously, there will be very few similarities between his single-seater race car and the Adelaide Grand Prix circuit, and the Championship winning Lancer Evolution VI he will be powering along the narrow, tree-lined gravel stages around Perth.
Former Formula 1 star Erik Comas will drive a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in the next Rally Australia
"I still have a lot to learn about rallying as Ive only done three events, and the worlds best will be in Perth", commented Erik. "After so many years of road racing, the pace notes are my handicap - its about trusting more than just my eyes! But I have the best car for Group N and you can be sure Ill produce my best effort. Rallying is more emotional, while track racing is more rational. Doing both rallying and road racing will allow me to mix feelings and be an even faster driver".
Erik, who lives with his Italian wife and son in Santa Barbara, California, has an extensive track record and, having driven with a number of Japanese manufacturers, has even found time to learn to speak Japanese.
His racing career began in 1983 in karts before progressing to French Formula Renault, French Touring Cars and French Formula 3. He took the FIA F3000 World title in 1990 before moving up to Formula One with the Ligier and Larrousse teams. The Frenchman then turned his attentions to GT racing and finished sixth overall at Le Mans in 1998 and took the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship title the same year and also in 1999, rounding the season off with victory in the Fuji Le Mans 1000 kilometre event.
In April this year, Erik took the prized Group N trophy in his first ever rally, the Oregon Trail in the USA, in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV. In his second, but first asphalt event, the Rallye du Mont Blanc in France, he won the GT class and will be contesting Canadas Rally de Charlevoix before competing in Rally Australia in November.