CHALLENGE FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
LEAD FOR MITSUBISHI
Currently second in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country
Rally Championship, Japan most successful rally driver,
Kenjiro Shinozuka of PIAA Mitsubishi Dealer Team, is
hoping to retake the series lead with victory on the
Savane Atlas Rally, which takes place in Spain and
Morocco from May 7.
Driving his Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution, Shinozuka led
the world title race until the third round in Tunisia,
where he was knocked off the top spot by Jean-Louis
Schlesser in a prototype buggy after a run of bad luck.
However, Shinozuka is looking forward to the tough, often
mountainous competitive sections of the Atlas Rally, and
vows : I won t let what happened on the
Tunisia Rally happen again !
After scrutineering and eligibility checks in Granada,
Spain on May 7-8, the rally heads south to the coastal
town of Matril, before crossing the Mediterranean to
Africa, and the first of seven stages in Morocco. Once in
Africa, the competitors will enjoy some of the finest and
most varied scenery and landscapes on the continent,
although they will not have much time to take in the
views, with average stage lengths of around 300 km over
some of the toughest terrain Africa has to offer.
The early part of the event will feature rocky mountain
stages on narrow tracks through the foothills of the
spectacular Atlas range, before diving into the famously
beautiful valleys with their numerous oasis and into the
desert terrain of the Erg Chebbi.
The rally will end in the historic town of Marrakesh with
a final spectator special stage of just 20 km along the
edge of Lake Takerhoust, before a surprise lunch
with VIPs flown in from Paris say the organiser.
It will doubtless be a tough eight days for Shinozuka and
his many rivals, but the Japanese ace is confident of a
good result in his Mitsubishi Pajero, arguably the most
reliable and successful cross country machine in recent
motor sport history.
Shinozuka said "I hate being two victories down on
Schlesser but the Atlas is a rally that is mainly
mountain roads and is a course that will suit the Pajero.
Also, the corners are flowing and continuous and it's
this kind of road that is my speciality so I think I have
a very good chance at winning."
16th RALLYE ATLAS SAVANE (7-16 MAY)
OULAD EL HAJ
||OUTAT OULAD EL