Tokyo, September 16, 2022 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (hereafter, Mitsubishi Motors) announced that Team Mitsubishi Ralliart, which will compete in the Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) with Mitsubishi Motors' technical support, has revealed the team lineup for the upcoming AXCR 2022 to be held from November 21 to 26 in Thailand and Cambodia.
Team Mitsubishi Ralliart
See here for driver comments: https://youtu.be/LFXxQXiAcfc
From Team Mitsubishi Ralliart, Rifat Sungkar (Indonesia), winner of the Indonesian Sprint Rally Championship, and Chayapon Yotha (Thailand), who has won the Thailand Autocross Championship, will drive two Triton rally cars in the Group T1 (prototype cross-country vehicles) category and compete for the higher position. The highly experienced Sakchai Hantrakul (Thailand) will support them in a third Triton support car. Team Mitsubishi Ralliart will have all the resources it needs to take on the AXCR challenge; TANT SPORT (Thailand), which owns the team, is joined by team director Hiroshi Masuoka, a former two-time Dakar Rally champion driver, and Mitsubishi Motors engineers will accompany the team to provide technical support.
Team Mitsubishi Ralliart conducted endurance tests of the Triton rally car for 1,100 km at the Grand Prix Motor Park off-road race track in Kanchanaburi, in the west of Thailand, from August 29 to 31. Reducing the weight and improving the output characteristics of the engine have increased drivability, enabling agile handling over the twisty course. In addition, new dual dampers have improved road following performance and contributed to significant improvements in driving stability and rough road drivability.
Rifat Sungkar praised the feel of the car in his first experience in the Triton: "Rally drivers pass through many different corners, one by one. Therefore, it is crucial for the rally car to have excellent maneuverability and drivability as the driver intends, and high durability and reliability over rough roads. A good co-driver who can navigate accurately and quickly is also important for a successful result. Through the endurance tests, we were able to confirm that the Triton rally car delivers excellent performance in terms of rough road drivability and durability."
Having participated in the previous endurance test in June, Chayapon Yotha responded positively after driving the improved car at anticipated rally speeds:
"Speed is not everything in rally competition. In order to win, it is important to maximize the sense of unity between the driver and the rally car, and to control the tempo flexibly between acceleration and deceleration. We have confirmed that the Triton rally car has a great finish and responds precisely and agilely to driver input."
Hiroshi Masuoka, team director of Team Mitsubishi Ralliart, commented:
"It is a privilege to welcome such talented drivers to the team. Rifat has lots of experience in sprint rallying, so if we do a good job as a team to manage the long-distance aspect of a cross-country rally, he will deliver a great performance. Chayapon has extensive experience in cross-country rallies and improves every time he gets in the car, so I'm expecting good outcomes from him. With regard to the Triton, the two endurance tests enabled us to identify issues and deal with them. We will carry out a shakedown test in November before AXCR 2022, but the Triton is looking good so far and I believe the drivers will be able to deliver tough, solid performances."
Team Mitsubishi Ralliart
Team Director: Hiroshi Masuoka (Mitsubishi Motors)
Team Principal: Chayut Yangpichit (TANT SPORT)
Technical Director: Kopong Amatayakul (TANT SPORT)
Technical Support (body, chassis): Yasuo Tanaka (Mitsubishi Motors)
Technical Support (engine): Takashi Shibayama (Mitsubishi Motors)
Drivers and co-drivers:
From: Jakarta, Indonesia
Born: October 22, 1978 (43)
Career: One of Indonesia's top drivers, he has won the Indonesian Sprint Rally Championship in 1997, been an Indonesian Rally Championship winner three years in a row up to 2002, and more. In 2012, he was named brand ambassador for PT Mitsubishi Motors Krama Yudha Sales Indonesia (MMKSI). In 2019 and 2021, he won overall victories at the Indonesian Sprint Rally Championship in a Mitsubishi Xpander.
Co-driver: Chupong Chaiwan (Thailand)
From: Udon Thani Province, Thailand
Born: August 16, 1987 (35)
Career: He has won numerous races since 2012, including the Thailand Super Series, and RAAT Thailand Endurance Championship International. In 2019, he took victories in the Thailand Super Series' Supercar GTC and other competitions.
Co-driver: Peerapong Sombutwong (Thailand)
From: Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Born: November 29, 1962 (59)
Career: With more than 30 years of racing experience, he has been crowned champion of the Mitsubishi Gymkhana Challenge RALLIART Cup '89, won Round 1 of the Pennzoil Rally Championship '91 in northern Thailand, and been a winner in many other categories. He is familiar with Mitsubishi vehicles, having driven a Mitsubishi Pajero in the 1996 Dakar Rally.
Co-driver: Kittisak Klinchan (Thailand)
Visit Mitsubishi Motors' AXCR 2022 page for details about the rally, Team Mitsubishi Ralliart and its vehicles. The site also features photo galleries, videos, and other content.
About Mitsubishi Motors
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (TSE:7211) —a member of the Alliance with Renault and Nissan—, is a global automobile company based in Tokyo, Japan, which has about 30,000 employees and a global footprint with production facilities in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, mainland China, the Philippines, Viet Nam and Russia. Mitsubishi Motors has a competitive edge in SUVs, pickup trucks and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and appeals to ambitious drivers willing to challenge convention and embrace innovation. Since the production of our first vehicle more than a century ago, Mitsubishi Motors has been a leader in electrification—launched the i-MiEV –the world's first mass-produced electric vehicle in 2009, followed by the Outlander PHEV –the world's first plug-in hybrid electric SUV in 2013. The company announced a three-year business plan in July 2020 to introduce more competitive and cutting-edge models, including the Eclipse Cross (PHEV model), the all-new Outlander and the all-new Triton/L200.
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