WRC 2001

WRC 2001

2001 World Rally Championship

MITSUBISHI MOTORS started their development of a WR car in the first half of the 2000 season. They decided to make its debut at the Rally Sanremo (Italy) in October 2001. In reality, the development period of just one year was not nearly enough. They would have to race with Group A LANCER EVOLUTION VI during the first half of the season while their WR car was still getting ready to be put into use. It was clear that they would have to do something big in order to compete with WR cars. As a result, MITSUBISHI MOTORS asked the FIA to allow them to adopt two items in the Group A LANCER EVOLUTION that could not be included in production models, provided that "their completed WR car would make its debut during the 2001 season.” The two modifications that were to be made consisted of the expansion of the rear inner wheelhouse, accompanied by a change in the rear suspension mounting position, as well as the weight reduction of the engine flywheel.
Rd. name Country
1 Rallye Monte Carlo Europe, France, Africa and Monaco
2 Swedish Rally Sweden
3 Rallye de Portugal Portugal
4 Rally Catalunya Spain
5 Rally Argentina Argentina
6 Cyprus Rally Cyprus
7 Acropolis Rally Greece
8 Safari Rally Kenya
9 Rally Finland Finland
10 Rally New Zealand New Zealand
11 Rallye Sanremo Italy
12 Tour de Corse France
13 Rally Australia Australia
14 Rally of Great Britain United Kingdom
With that, the 2001 opening rally of the World Rally Championship (WRC) was held. Tommi Mäkinen won the Monte Carlo Rally for the third time in a row with the Group A spec LANCER EVOLUTION VI. This was a version that partially applied the WR car regulations and which eventually will be called the “Evo 6.5” around the world. At the second round, Rally Sweden, Thomas Rådström of Sweden, was playing at home and brought the MITSUBSHI car he drove for the first time into second place. Mäkinen won again in the third round, Rally Portugal, in spite of the rough, muddy conditions. With the adoption of only two improvements, the Group A LANCER EVOLUTION came back to life. The progress continued further. In the fourth round, Rally Catalunya, Mäkinen overcame an earlier gearbox trouble and caught up fiercely in the second half and to end up taking the third place. He also finished fourth in round five, Rally Argentina, and won round eight, the Safari Rally, with a perfect driving pace. He continued to lead the championship standings.
In October, MITSUBISHI MOTORS' first WR car, the LANCER EVOLUTION WRC, made its debut at the Rally Sanremo as originally planned. This vehicle, which attracted great attention, made use of the freedom provided for by the WR car regulations for the main components of the engine and drive system. However, MITSUBISHI MOTORS was forced to give up on developing it fundamentally in accordance with WR car regulations due to time constraints. The same was true for the body of this car, and the LANCER EVOLUTION WRC took part in four rallies in the second half of the season, but not without experiencing setbacks. Mäkinen was able to finish only once during this period and suffered a major crash during the 12th round, Tour de Corse. Still, Mäkinen managed to finish third in the Drivers' championship rankings. Most of the points were earned by the Group A LANCER EVOLUTION, once again showing the strength of the Group A rally car, which has won five World Drivers and Manufacturers' titles.


Rd. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
T. Mäkinen 1st R 1st 3rd 4th R 4th 1st R 8th R R 6th R
R. Mannisenmäki
F. Loix 6th 13th R 4th 6th 5th 9th 5th 10th 11th 12th 12th 11th R
S. Smeets
T. Rådström 2nd R R
T. Thörner
K. Taguchi R
D. Ringer
T. Gardemeister R 15th
P. Lukander
Driver Co-driver R - Retired D - Disqualified
Rd. 1 2 3 4
T. Mäkinen 1st R 1st 3rd
R. Mannisenmäki
F. Loix 6th 13th R 4th
S. Smeets
T. Rådström 2nd R
T. Thörner
K. Taguchi
D. Ringer
T. Gardemeister
P. Lukander
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
4th R 4th 1st R 8th R
6th 5th 9th 5th 10th 11th 12th
R 15th
12 13 14
R 6th R
12th 11th R



R - Retired

D - Disqualified


LANCER Evolution WRC

Overall length 4,360 mm
Overall width 1,770 mm
Engine model 4G63 4-cylinder DOHC turbo
Displacement 1,997 cc
Maximum output 300 ps
Maximum torque 55 kg-m