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1997 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 13
API RALLY AUSTRALIA (30 OCT-2 NOV)

MITSUBISHI AIMS FOR THIRD SUCCESSIVE WIN
ON RALLY AUSTRALIA


Team Mitsubishi Ralliart is sending its strongest team this season to the API Rally Australia, the second last round of the 1997 World Rally Championship, supported by Winfield, a Rothmans cigarette brand. It is headed by World Championship leader Tommi Makinen. The Finnish driver's Lancer Evolution will be supported by Britain's Richard Burns in a Carisma GT and another Lancer Evolution for Australia's Ed Ordynski.

In just 10 years, the Rally Australia has become one of the most prestigious rallies in the World Rally Championship. Its famous super-special stage in Perth's Langley Park, on the banks of the Swan River, has an unrivalled atmosphere and the crowds grow larger every year, both at Langley Park and in famous forest stages such as Bunnings, Wellington Dam and Helena. It isn't just skilled promotion that makes the Rally Australia distinctive : the stages are fast, but exceptionally slippery and have tended to favour Finnish drivers such as Team Mitsubishi Ralliart's driver Makinen. The tiny ball bearing like stones that surface the stages also make special demands of the tyres. Michelin has developed a unique "Australia cut" - a hand-cut tread pattern - to provide grip in such awkward conditions.

Makinen is bubbling with confidence. He has already won four World Championship rallies this season and his superbly judged third place on the last round of the World Rally Championship, Italy's Sanremo Rally, has considerably reduced the pressure on him as he nears a second world title.

"Australia is a rally I like very much. The stages are very good for the car and our Michelin tyres, so I feel very confident that we can do well," he promised.

"I'm really looking forward to Australia. I feel our performance has been getting better and better this season and I feel very confident with the car. Australia is always a good rally for Mitsubishi and I think we can do well, especially as we have a big test planned," said Burns.

"I am very proud to drive in the same team as the World Champion Tommi Makinen in Australia. It's a real honour to get a chance like this on my home round of the World Rally Championship and I hope we can give Mitsubishi a good result," Ordynski stated.

"In recent history, Australia has been a good event for Mitsubishi, but we're not resting on our laurels," said Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Manager Phil Short. "We've got quite an extensive test programme with Tommi, Richard and our test driver, Lasse Lampi in the period leading up to the recce and Lasse will continue testing during the recce. In Australia, the critical thing is not car set-up, but tyres. It will be different this year. It will be hotter, drier and dustier - and we don't know what effect that will have yet.

"Tommi likes Australia. I think he will settle into the right sort of rhythm fairly quickly and that will put him at or close to the head of the field. He doesn't need to win, but a win could sew up the championship," Short added. "Richard is doing the bulk of the testing and he has some experience of the event, having finished fifth last year. He will build on that and I'm sure he will offer good support. We're glad to have Ed Ordynski as part of Team Mitsubishi Ralliart and his experience is bound to be useful on this event. He has an exceptional record on this rally in Group N Mitsubishis and he deserves his chance in a Group A car."

Japan's most successful rally driver, Kenjiro Shinozuka, makes a return to the World Rally Championship in a Group A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. He has vast experience of the world's toughest rallies and is sure to make an impact on the leaderboard.

The rally covers 1,526 kilometres, packed into just over three days. It starts at Langley Park on Thursday, October 30, before heading for the tough forests east of Perth on Friday. In total, it has 159 kilometres of stages. The second leg is the most southerly of the three, with 150 kilometres of flat-out driving, while the last leg is concentrated in the massive Bunnings Forest before the ceremonial finish in the centre of Perth at 13.45 on November 2. In total, there will be 24 stages, covering 421 kilometres.





1997 API RALLY AUSTRALIA

ITINERARY
Thursday 30 October - LEG 1
18.30Start from Perth
SS1 Langley Park Super 1
18.57Arrival in Perth
Friday 31 October
06.00 Start from Perth
SS2 Kew's
SS3 Helena 1
SS4 Flynns
SS5 York Railway
SS6 Muresk 1
SS7 Muresk 2
SS8 Beraking
SS9 Atkins
SS10 Helana 2
SS11 Langley Park 2
20.00Arrival in Perth
Saturday 1 November - LEG 2
06.00Start from Perth
SS12 Langford
SS13 Murray Pines
SS14 Stirling West
SS15 Stirling East
SS16 Wallington East
SS17 Wallington West
SS18 Brunswick
SS19 API Television Stage
SS20 Langley Park 3
19.24Arrival in Perth
Sunday 2 November - LEG 3
06.00 Start from Perth
SS21 Bunnings South
SS22 Bunnings East
SS23 Bunnings West
SS24 Bunnings North
13.45Final of the rally in Perth




1997 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
TEAM MITSUBISHI RALLIART RESULTS

  1997 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP Gr A Gr N
Round 1 MONTE CARLO RALLY
19-22 January
T.Makinen 3rd
U.Nittel 5th
G.Trelles 1st
(9th overall)
Round 2 INTERNATIONAL SWEDISH RALLY
7-10 February
T.Makinen 3rd
 
K.Backlund 1st
(11th overall)
Round 3 555 SAFARI RALLY
1-3 March
R.Burns 2nd
 
S.Zasada 2nd
(12th overall)
Round 4 TAP RALLY PORTUGAL
23-26 March
T.Makinen 1st
 
G.Trelles 1st
(7th overall)
Round 5 RALLY CATALUNYA COSTA BRAVA
14-16 April
T.Makinen 1st
U.Nittel 8th
G.Trelles 1st
(13th overall)
Round 6 TOUR DE CORSE
5-7 May
U.Nittel 8th
 
J.Andreani 2nd
(15th overall)
Round 7 RALLY CHEVRON ARGENTINA
22-24 May
T.Makinen 1st
 
G.Trelles 1st
(8th overall)
Round 8 ACROPOLIS RALLY
8-10 June
T.Makinen 3rd
R.Burns 4th
G.Trelles 1st
(14th overall)
Round 9 SMOKEFREE RALLY NEW ZEALAND
2-5 August
R.Burns 4th
 
G.Trelles 1st
(7th overall)
Round 10 NESTE RALLY FINLAND
28-31 August
T.Makinen 1st
U.Nittel 7th
J.Puhakka 1st
(9th overall)
Round 11 RALLY OF INDONESIA
19-21 September
R.Burns 4th M.Akaba 5th
(15th overall)
Round 12 RALLYE SANREMO
12-15 October
T.Makinen 3rd M.Staguni 1st
(14th overall)


POINTS STANDING(After Rallye Sanremo)

  For Drivers    
1. T.Makinen 56 Mitsubishi
2. C.Sainz 47 Ford
3. C.McRae 42 Subaru
4. K.Eriksson 28 Subaru
5. P.Liatti 24 Subaru
6. J.Kankkunen 23 Ford
7. R.Burns 15 Mitsubishi
8. A.Schwarz 11 Ford


  For Manufacturers  
1. Subaru 94
2. Ford 81
3. Mitsubishi 73


  Cup for Drivers of Production Cars    
1. G.Trelles 84 Mitsubishi
2. M.Stohl 28 Mitsubishi
3. K.Singh 18 Proton
4. K.Backlund 13 Mitsubishi
4. J.Puhakka 13 Mitsubishi
4. M.Stagni 13 Mitsubishi


Copyright 1997 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.