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1997 RALLY OF INDONESIA


1997 RALLY OF INDONESIA
Sunday 21th September
Leg 3 - 381,09 kms -6 special stages -115,68 kms
COMMUNIQUE 4


MITSUBISHI FINISHES STRONGLY IN TOUGH RALLY OF INDONESIA





Team Mitsubishi Ralliart took a hard-earned fourth place on the Rally of Indonesia, widely regarded as the toughest of the 11 World Championship rallies this year, thanks to British crew Richard Burns/Robert Reid and their Mitsubishi Carisma GT. World Champion Tommi Makinen continues to lead the World Championship for Drivers, even though he failed to score points on this occasion.

For the third day running, drivers faced an exceptionally tough challenge. The demanding conditions had already caused the retirements of both works Toyotas and Colin McRae, who crashed his Subaru. Heavy rain made the early morning stages of the final leg in the hills around Parapat treacherously slippery and, while hot sunshine and sweltering temperatures swiftly dried the stages in the cocoa and rubber plantations on the fertile coastal plain, only the last of the 22 stages was entirely free of mud. There was no room for the slightest lapse of concentration and all the drivers had a weary look by the time they completed the tough three-day rally, in which Carlos Saiz of Spain won a fierce battle with Ford team-mate Juha Kankkunen to take victory, with Kenneth Eriksson third in his Subaru. Cheering crowds thronged the route, tens of thousands lining the last few kilometres as the drivers sped along the highway into Merdeka Square and the ceremonial finish in the centre of Medan.

On such an unpredictable rally, in which a 10-minute thunderstorm on just one stage can turn the results upside down, there was plenty at stake in the final six stages, totalling 115 kilometres. Burns therefore went on to the attack, eager to deprive Eriksson of third place while safeguarding Mitsubishi's points by reaching the finish. He survived a fifth-gear spin on the morning's first stage to take his best result yet in Indonesia and maintained Mitsubishi's challenging position in the World Championship.

"I'm happy to finish the rally after last year's accident. I've gained some useful experience. Sometimes, it was difficult just to stay on the road, but we worked hard at picking the right tyres, which is crucial here and I think our result is a tribute to Michelin. It's a tough rally and, while my Carisma has worked well, I must say I'm relieved just to make the finish," Burns declared.

"I think it's good for Richard to get to the finish of a hard event like this. He was nervous after last year's mishap and they were not the sort of conditions that allowed the driver to sit back and cruise. HeĠs driven very well in very difficult weather. It's been a very difficult rally and we're naturally disappointed to have lost Tommi Makinen, because he was driving well within his limits, but we're confident that we will be right on the pace for the last three events this season," stated the Director of Team Mitsubishi Ralliart, Andrew Cowan.

Mitsubishis also performed well in the Group N production car category, in which Masayuki and Takoko Akaba from japan earned a fine result in their Lancer Evolution. Hutomo MP, the son of Indonesia's President Soeharto, likewise achieved a creditable finish, in spite of getting two punctures in his Lancer Evolution and is now in a very strong position as the Indonesian Rally Championship reaches its decisive stage. Yoshihiro Kataoka/Satoshi Hayashi challenged strongly in Group N throughout the rally and looked set to finish in the top three until their engine overheated on the very last stage and they had the misfortune to retire as they arrived the final service point before Medan.

FINAL CLASSIFICATION

1.C.SAINZ/L.MOYA E/E FORD ESCORT 4.37.30 Gr-A
2.J.KANKKUNEN/J.REPO FIN/FIN FORD ESCORT 4.37.46 Gr-A
3.K.ERIKSSON/S.PARMENDER S/S SUBARU IMPREZA 4.38.49 Gr-A
4.R.BURNS/R.REID GB/GB MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT 4.39.24 Gr-A
5.Y.FUJIMOTO/A.HERTZ J/S TOYOTA CELICA 4.58.34 Gr-A
6.K.SINGH/A.OH MAL/MAL PROTON WIRA 5.03.02 Gr-N
7.H.ROVENPERA/V.SILANDER FIN/FIN SEAT IBIZA 5.06.36 Gr-A
8.S.KONISHI/T.SIRCOMBE J/NZ SUBARU IMPREZA 5.09.21 Gr-N
9.E.WEBER/M.HIERMER D/D SEAT IBIZA 5.10.07 Gr-A
10.R.PRIBADI/C.WISHA RI/D SUBARU IMPREZA 5.11.27 Gr-A
------------------------------ ------ -------------------- ----- ------
15.M.AKABA/T.AKABA RI/RI MITSUBISHI LANCER 5.21.04 Gr-N
16.MP.HUTOMO/JP.JEFFREY RI/RI MITSUBISHI LANCER 5.21.42 Gr-N



Updated 21th September - 14h30

NationalityG
A=Austria^ AUS=Australia^ AND=Andorra^ E=Spain^
CZ =Czech Republic^ D=Germany^ 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^





1997 RALLY OF INDONESIA STATISTICS


Dates : 19 -21 September 1997
Length : 1128.83 kms
Total SS: 402,47 kms on 22 SS




Starters : 69 (22 Group A + 47 Group N)
Manufacturers : Mitsubishi 25,Subaru 13,Timor 12, Toyota 7, Seat 3, Suzuki 3, Ford 2, Proton 2, Hyundai 1, Nissan 1
Nations (first drivers) : RI 41,J 10,FIN 3,AUS 2,CN 2,D 2,GB 2,MAL 2,AND 1,F 1,S 1
Overall winner
1.C.SAINZ/L.MOYA E/E FORD ESCORT 4.37.30 Gr-A
2.J.KANKKUNEN/J.REPO FIN/FIN FORD ESCORT 4.37.46 Gr-A
3.K.ERIKSSON/S.PARMENDER S/S SUBARU IMPREZA 4.38.49 Gr-A
4.R.BURNS/R.REID GB/GB MITSUBISHI CARISMA GT 4.39.24 Gr-A
5.Y.FUJIMOTO/A.HERTZ J/S TOYOTA CELICA 4.58.34 Gr-A
6.K.SINGH/A.OH MAL/MAL PROTON WIRA 5.03.02 Gr-N
7.H.ROVENPERA/V.SILANDER FIN/FIN SEAT IBIZA 5.06.36 Gr-A
8.S.KONISHI/T.SIRCOMBE J/NZ SUBARU IMPREZA 5.09.21 Gr-N
9.E.WEBER/M.HIERMER D/D SEAT IBIZA 5.10.07 Gr-A
10.R.PRIBADI/C.WISHA RI/D SUBARU IMPREZA 5.11.27 Gr-A
------------------------------ ------ -------------------- ----- ------
15.M.AKABA/T.AKABA RI/RI MITSUBISHI LANCER 5.21.04 Gr-N
16.MP.HUTOMO/JP.JEFFREY RI/RI MITSUBISHI LANCER 5.21.42 Gr-N
Gr N winner :
6.K.SINGH/A.OH MAL/MAL PROTON WIRA 5.03.02 Gr-N

Stages winners : McRae 7,Sainz 6,Eriksson 5,Kankkunen 4, Makinen 1
Rally leaders : 1-2 Makinen,3-12 McRae,13-15 Kankkunen,16-22 Sainz.
World Championship for Drivers : Makinen 52,Sainz 44, McRae 32, Eriksson 24, Kankkunen 22,Liatti 18, Burns 15, Schwarz 11,
World Championship for Manufacturers : Subaru 78, Ford 77, Mitsubishi 69


-Communique 3-

-Communique 2-

-Communique 1-



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Copyright 1997 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.