26 June 2005 LEG 3 RELEASE

Rovanperä and Galli finish 6th and 7th, scoring driver and manufacturer points

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
Harri Rovanperä / Risto Pietiläinen

The Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports WRC team completed a successful Acropolis Rally, its crews bringing both cars to points-scoring finishes in what is viewed as one of the toughest rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship. Harri

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
Harri Rovanperä / Risto Pietiläinen
Rovanperä and Risto Pietiläinen headed the assault and brought their Lancer WRC05 home in sixth position, while team-mates "Gigi" Galli and Guido D’Amore finished hot on their heels in seventh.

"After three long and tough days we have both cars at the finish and in the points", said Isao Torii, Head of Mitsubishi Motor Sports. "Both crews did a good job and it was nice to have excitement in the closing leg with Harri fighting for fifth. We have completed the first half of the season with some quite good results, because the reliability of the car is so much better. We discovered some things where we can improve, so we are ready to fight in the second half of the season and will be challenging for podiums hopefully".

The final leg of the Acropolis Rally, the eighth round of the FIA World Rally Championship, took in just four stages, three of which were completely new. In total, the route took in 98.79 competitive kilometers before the finish back in Lamia at 14:25 hrs this afternoon.

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
"Gigi" Galli / Guido D’Amore
Harri Rovanperä and Risto Pietiläinen had a clean run through the first two stages. However they suffered a tire vibration during both. They nevertheless set top times and were ready for an all-out assault on Mikko Hirvonen for fifth position this afternoon. However, although their tire choice was correct, the conditions were tough and they returned to Lamia in sixth position.

"It was really good to be in a battle and to finish sixth and get points in a rough rally like Greece is good news", said Harri. "It’s been a hot weekend and I’m happy our car has worked so well. Every stage was nice, we had no dramas and although the conditions were maybe a little easier than previous years, it was still a normal Acropolis. We’ve fought all weekend and sixth didn’t come easily; I’m especially happy for Mario (Fornaris) that we had a good result on his last rally with the team".

Team-mates Gigi Galli and Guido D’Amore maintained a safe speed today, the pair learning all the way and enjoying an almost trouble-free Acropolis Rally. They kept seventh throughout the leg and held off Peugeot’s Markko Märtin to the end.

Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05
"Gigi" Galli / Guido D’Amore
"Everything has gone the right way for us; I am happy", said Gigi. "I have to say this was always going to be the hardest rally of the year for me, because of my lack of experience, but things have worked well, the car has been very good and I think the whole team should be pleased for a good job. What I can say is that the rally was easier than I expected; I thought it would be rougher from what everyone said".

Adding to the drivers’ comments, Technical Director Mario Fornaris said: "This is a very good result on a difficult rally. Our cars were on the pace the entire event and to have the drivers setting top times throughout is a good feeling. We must be happy with the reliability and I congratulate everyone in the team for a good and successful weekend".

In the battle for Group N honors, Mitsubishi drivers swept the board and took the top five positions in the category, with local man Dimitris Nassoulas taking victory.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
Dimitris Nassoulas / Mihalis Patrikoussis
The ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship takes the crews to South America for Rally Argentina (July 14-17). From the hot Mediterranean summer, the series heads to mid-winter weather and Harri Rovanperä will again be joined by Gigi Galli in the second Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05.

News from our rivals

Sébastien Loeb reigned supreme again and claimed his fifth consecutive victory in Lamia this afternoon. It is also the Citroën driver’s sixth win of the season and gives him an overall advantage of 23 points in the Drivers’ Championship with Citroën also taking the lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship. Toni Gardemeister equaled his best result this season by finishing second ahead of Carlos Sainz, the Spaniard once again fulfilling his points-scoring role for Citroën. Marcus Grönholm finished just off the podium in fourth - having lost time yesterday with a broken drive-shaft - and Mikko Hirvonen claimed an impressive fifth in a 2003 specification Focus.


  Driver / Co-driver Nat. Car Gr/Cl Total Time Difference
 Sébastien LOEB / Daniel Elena F/MC  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8 M   
 Toni GARDEMEISTER / Jakke Honkanen FIN  FORD Focus RS WRC 04 A8 M  1.36.2 
 Carlos SAINZ / Marc Marti E  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8 M  2.11.1 
 Marcus GRONHOLM / Timo Rautiainen FIN  PEUGEOT 307 WRC A8 M  2.56.4 
 Mikko HIRVONEN / Jarmo Lehtinen FIN  FORD Focus RS WRC 03 A8  3.13.2 
 Harri ROVANPERA / Risto Pietiläinen FIN  MITSUBISHI Lancer WRC05 A8 M  3.44.4 
 "Gigi" GALLI / Guido D’Amore I  MITSUBISHI Lancer WRC05 A8 M  5.19.6 
 Markko MARTIN / Michael Park EE/GB  PEUGEOT 307 WRC A8 M  5.37.5 
 Petter SOLBERG / Phil Mills N/GB  SUBARU Impreza WRC 05 A8 M  6.03.0 
10   Xavier PONS / Carlos del Barrio E  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8  9.13.4 
11   Kristian SOHLBERG / Timo Hantunen FIN  SUBARU Impreza WRC 04 A8  10.08.4 
12   Armodios VOVOS / "El-Em" GR  SUBARU Impreza WRC 04 A8  12.50.9 
13   Stéphane SARRAZIN / Denis Giraudet F  SUBARU Impreza WRC 05 A8  16.58.8 
14   Daniel CARLSSON / Mattias Andersson S  SUBARU Impreza WRC 04 A8  21.21.7 
15   Per-Gunnar ANDERSSON / Jonas Andersson S  SUZUKI Ignis A6 J  28.27.7 
16   Ioannis PAPADIMITRIOU / Allan Harryman GR/GB  FORD Focus RS WRC 03 A8  29.34.6 
17   Guy WILKS / Phil Pugh GB  SUZUKI Ignis A6 J  31.18.1 
18   Armin SCHWARZ / Klaus Wicha D  SKODA Fabia WRC A8 M  32.00.4 
19   Urmo AAVA / Kuldar Sikk EE  SUZUKI Ignis A6 J  32.03.3 
20   Manfred STOHL / Ilka Minor A  CITROEN Xsara WRC A8  33.00.1 
23   Dimitris NASSOULAS / Mihalis Patrikoussis GR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  41.40.3 
24   Efthimios HALKIAS / Leonidas Mahaeras GR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  43.00.0 
25   Konstantinos PITSOS / Stelios Karapapazis GR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  43.15.3 
29   Sotiris HATZITSOPANIS / N. Hatzitsopanis GR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  52.34.5 
30   E. PANAGIOTOPOULOS / Nikolaos Panou GR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  53.34.7 
31   Stergios STRATELIS / Thomas Gagakas GR  SUBARU Impreza N4  54.14.2 
32   Socratis TSOLAKIDIS / Socratis Pavlidis GR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  55.36.7 
33   Ioannis CONSTANTAKATOS / Apostolos Pallas GR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4  55.37.3 
34   "TROFONIOS" / Konstantinos Synetos GR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 
37   Andreas FILIPPOU / Konstantinos Kourtellas CY  SUBARU Impreza N4 
38   Stelios LAINOPOULOS / Nikos Moshopoulos GR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 
41   "ZOOBIS" / George Trigenis GR  SUBARU Impreza N4 
43   Odysseas DOTSIKAS / Nikos Paraperas GR  MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution N4 
Nationalities: A=Austria/ CY=Cyprus/ D=Germany/ E=Spain/ EE=Estonia/ F=France/ FIN=Finland/ GB=Great Britain/ GR=Greece/ 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