Mitsubishi Motors Presents
41st TOUR DE CORSE "RALLYE DE FRANCE" Home Page

Press Release/ Entry List/Special Stage Result/ Daily Communique/On-Line Photo/97WRC Top Page





41st TOUR DE CORSE "RALLYE DE FRANCE"
1997 TOUR DE CORSE
Wednesday May 7
Leg 3 : 360,07 kms - 6 special stages (141,49 kms)
COMMUNIQUE 4

MITSUBISHI DRIVER MAKINEN LEADS WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
AFTER UNLUCKY TOUR DE CORSE


Team Mitsubishi Ralliart's World Champion Tommi Makinen continues to lead the World Rally Championship after the sixth round, the Tour de Corse, even though he was desperately unlucky to retire on the second day of the rally when challenging strongly for the lead.

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart's young German driver Uwe Nittel emerged with flying colours from one of the toughest rallies of the season. After 408 ultra-demanding kilometres of asphalt stages, he completed the sixth round of the World Rally Championship in an encouraging eighth place in his Mitsubishi Lancer. Mitsubishi also celebrated second in the Group N production category, thanks to one of the top local drivers, Jacques Andreani.

Tension reached breaking point on the last day of the rally, as the top crews traded seconds and showers made choosing tyres a nightmare. Holidaymakers on the coast often enjoyed bright sunshine, while a cold wind drove clouds over the narrow, tortuous mountain passes where the rally was won and lost. Spectators packed every available vantage point in the hills of southern Corsica to witness one of the closest World Championship rallies of all time, cheering on their favourites on stages, begging for autographs in service areas.

"The last day has good: We have had a few small problems with the transmission, but they have not been too serious and I've gained more confidence in my Lancer. It has been difficult trying to guess what the weather will do next, but I enjoyed the last stage. Our tyres were very good when it was wet and slippery, and we had a good battle with Armin Schwarz in his Ford. We won, so we can say that we have won the German championship! This is a really difficult rally, so it is always good to say that you have finished it," said a satisfied Nittel.

"Uwe has done a good job for us, because it was such a hard rally, with the weather changing all the time - and he has finished with the car looking like new. For us, it was very important to finish and we now look forward to making more improvements in future," stated Team Mitsubishi Ralliart's Team Manager, Ingolf Raiss. "I am so happy for Uwe, because he is a young driver and it is vital for him to gain experience. Investing for the future is an important feature of Mitsubishi's involvement in motorsport."

Andreani put up a strong showing in the showroom category in his Mitsubishi Lancer to score a splendid second in Group N, proving once more the all-round quality of Mitsubishi road car engineering in any conditions.

Makinen is looking forward to rejoining the fray when Team Mitsubishi Ralliart makes its next appearance on the Rally of Argentina, which starts on May 21.

FINAL CLASSIFICATION

1.C.MCRAE/N. GRIST

GB/GB

SUBARU IMPREZA

4.31.08

Gr-A

2.C.SAINZ/L.MOYA

E/E

FORD ESCORT

4.31.16

Gr-A

3. G.PANIZZI/H.PANIZZI

F/F

PEUGEOT 306 MAXI

4.31.46

Gr-A

4.F.DELECOUR/D.GRATALOUP

F/F

PEUGEOT 306 MAXI

4.32.03

Gr-A

5.P.LIATTI/F.PONS

I/I

SUBARU IMPREZA

4.33.07

Gr-A

6. P.BUGALSKI/JP.CHIARONI

F/F

RENAULT MEGANE

4.37.48

Gr-A

7. S.JORDAN/J.BOYERE

F/F

RENAULT MEGANE

4.39.36

Gr-A

8.U.NITTEL/T.THORNER

D/S

MITSUBISHI LANCER

4.40.48

Gr-A

9. A.SCHWARZ/P.MILLS

D/GB

FORD ESCORT

4.41.43

Gr-A

10. F.MARIANI/G.THIMONIER

F/F

SUBARU IMPREZA

4.44.55

Gr-A

14.SANTONI/JM CASAMATTA

F/F

FORD ESCORT

4.44.55

Gr-N

15.J.ANDREANI/C.BLANC RAFINI

F/F

MITSUBISHI LANCER

4.59.35

Gr-N







Entrants :

62 (33 Group A + 29 Group N)

Starters :

60

Manufacturers:

Peugeot 22, Renault 16, Mitsubishi 6, Subaru 6, Ford 5, Skoda 2, Honda 2, Citroen 1, Volkswagen 1, Fiat 1.

Nations (first drivers) :

48 France, 5 Germany, 3 Italy, 2 Spain, 2 Austria, 1 Finland,1 Great Britain.




Gr N winners :

14. F.SANTONI/JM CASAMATTA

F/F

FORD ESCORT

4.44.55

Gr-N

15.J.ANDREANI/C.BLANC RAFINI

F/F

MITSUBISHI LANCER

4.59.35

Gr-N


Stages winners :

McRae 8, Panizzi 5, Sainz 4, Delecour 2, Liatti 1 .

Rally leaders :

1 - McRae, 2-6 Panizzi, 7-9 Delecour, 10 - Delecour & Sainz, 11-Sainz, 12 Sainz & Delecour, 13-Delecour, 14-17 Sainz, 18-McRae.

World Championship for Drivers :

Makinen 28, McRae 26, Sainz & Liatti 18, Schwarz 11, Eriksson 10, Burns 6.

World Championship for Manufacturers :

Subaru 54, Mitsubishi 36 , Ford 29.

-Communique3-
-Communique2-
-Communique1-




Copyright 1997 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.