7 August 2005 LEG 3 RELEASE

Rovanperä & Pietiläinen seventh in the Lancer WRC05

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
Harri Rovanperä / Risto Pietiläinen

The Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 crew of Harri Rovanperä and Risto Pietiläinen finished Rally Finland, the tenth round of the FIA World Rally Championship, in seventh position, claiming points for themselves and the team in their home event.

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
Harri Rovanperä / Risto Pietiläinen
"Harri didn’t seem to synchronize with the car this weekend, but he finished and claimed more points, our ninth points-scoring finish from 10 events, which is positive", said Isao Torii, Head of Mitsubishi Motor Sports. "We have a lot more data to analyze now and will continue challenging for the podium in the following events. I also want to thank the whole team for a very professional job; this is all part of the step towards success".

The final leg of Rally Finland took in two loops of two identical stages covering 66.56 competitive kilometers before the finish back in Jyväskylä early this afternoon. Overcast and damp weather greeted the crews this morning, providing very slippery conditions for the remaining crews fighting for honors in one of the Championship’s most specialized and spectacular events.

Starting from sixth this morning, Harri Rovanperä pushed hard in the opening stage, however the nature of today’s roads and the pace of fellow Finn Toni Gardemeister meant he lost a position and was simply unable to fight hard enough to move back up the leaderboard.

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
Harri Rovanperä / Risto Pietiläinen
"The car has been very reliable all weekend, working well and for this I am very happy", said Harri at the finish. "The tires have been good and our only problem today was a puncture in the final stage. Seventh position is right for the conditions and car we had on this event; it was not possible to do more. But, I know that when everything is working perfectly, we can fight hard for the top position".

Adding to his comments, Yasuo Tanaka, Technical Director said: "I am confident in the reliability of our car; Harri had almost no problems and the next step has to be an increase in the level of performance".

The FIA World Rally Championship now heads to Germany for the 11th round of the series and the first asphalt rally since the opening event of the 2005 season in Monte Carlo. Harri Rovanperä will pilot the lead Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 in Rallye Deutschland (August 25-28) and will once again be joined by Gigi Galli. The Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports WRC team also confirms that it will be running three Lancer WRC05s in Rally Japan, Rallye de France-Tour de Corse and Rally Catalunya-Rally de Espaņa for Harri Rovanperä, Gigi Galli and Gilles Panizzi.

News from our rivals

Marcus Grönholm claimed an emphatic victory in Rally Finland, his fifth victory on home soil and first win since this event in 2004. The Finn dominated and finally puts an end to Sébastien Loeb’s clean sweep of victories which began in New Zealand, in April. The French Citroën driver nevertheless retains his commanding lead of the series, having finished second in a rain-drenched Jyväskylä this afternoon. Peugeot had double cause for celebration with Markko Märtin on the podium in third and the the French team narrowly moves to the head of the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers. Petter Solberg, after a trouble-free leg, finished fourth and Mikko Hirvonen, registered in Ford’s second Focus, claimed fifth ahead of regular driver Toni Gardemeister. The only leading retirement of the leg was Christopher Atkinson, the Subaru driver out with an engine problem at the end of SS 19.


  Driver / Co-driver Nat. Car Gr/Cl Total Time Difference
 Marcus GRONHOLM / Timo Rautiainen FIN  PEUGEOT 307 WRC A8 M   
 Sébastien LOEB / Daniel Elena F/MC  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8 M  1.06.7 
 Markko MARTIN / Michael Park EE/GB  PEUGEOT 307 WRC A8 M  1.35.6 
 Petter SOLBERG / Phil Mills N/GB  SUBARU Impreza WRC 05 A8 M  2.08.0 
 Mikko HIRVONEN / Jarmo Lehtinen FIN  FORD Focus RS WRC 04 A8 M  2.13.6 
 Toni GARDEMEISTER / Jakke Honkanen FIN  FORD Focus RS WRC 04 A8 M  3.32.4 
 Harri ROVANPERA / Risto Pietiläinen FIN  MITSUBISHI Lancer WRC05 A8 M  4.27.9 
 François DUVAL / Sven Smeets B  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8 M  5.10.4 
 Henning SOLBERG / Cato Menkerud N  FORD Focus RS WRC 04 A8  5.45.8 
10   Janne TUOHINO / Mikko Markkula FIN  SKODA Fabia WRC A8  6.42.3 
11   Armin SCHWARZ / Klaus Wicha D  SKODA Fabia WRC A8 M  10.17.5 
12   Xavier PONS / Carlos del Barrio E  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8  10.44.1 
13   Kaj KUISTILA / Kari Jokinen FIN  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution A8  20.35.1 
14   Aki TEISKONEN / Miika Teiskonen FIN  SUBARU Impreza N4  21.26.8 
15   Daniel SORDO / Marc Marti E  CITROEN C2 A6 J  26.06.8 
16   Urmo AAVA / Kuldar Sikk EE  SUZUKI Ignis A6 J  27.39.4 
17   Riku TAHKO / Ossi Lahtinen FIN  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  29.51.3 
18   Guy WILKS / Phil Pugh GB  SUZUKI Swift A6 J  29.56.7 
19   Angelo MEDEGHINI / Barbara Capoferri I  SUBARU Impreza N4  30.00.1 
20   Jarno KINNUNEN / Mikko Lukka FIN  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  33.45.8 
25   Patrik FLODIN / Maria Andersson S  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  43.16.9 
26   Luca ROSSETTI / Dario D’Esposito I  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  43.37.8 
30   Natalie BARRATT / Chris Patterson GB  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  50.44.0 
32   Albert LLOVERA / Marc Corral AND/E  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  55.17.1 
33   Anton ALEN / Jussi Aariainen FIN  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  55.30.6 
34   Teemu RANTANEN / Sinikka Rantanen FIN  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  56.59.0 
48   Esko JUNTTILA / Lars-Erik Kronberg FIN  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 
Nationalities: AND=Andorra/ B=Belgium/ D=Germany/ E=Spain/ EE=Estonia/ F=France/ FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ I=Italy/ MC=Monte Carlo/ N=Norway/ S=Sweden/
M: drivers nominated in the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers
J: drivers eligible for FIA Junior World Rally Championship points