Sunday 11 October
MITSUBISHI BIDS FOR VICTORY ON SANREMO RALLY WITH
LANCER AND CARISMA GT
Mitsubishi Ralliart has its best ever chance of winning
Italys Sanremo Rally, the 11th round of the 1998
World Rally Championship. Thorough preparation of its
Lancer Evolution and Carisma GT models has boosted the
teams confidence as the World Rally Championship
enters its decisive phase.
The Sanremo Rally, which celebrates its 40th anniversary,
is one of the most popular rounds of the World
Championship. The twisty asphalt roads winding through
the mountains and tiny hilltop villages of northern Italy
along the Mediterranean coast are a stern test for
drivers, and a firm favourite with the vast crowds that
line the route. This years rally has the strongest
entry in its history.
World Champion Tommi Makinen and fellow Finn Risto
Mannisenmaki will be going flat out in their Lancer
Evolution in a bid to gain their first Sanremo victory
a win that could give Makinen the drivers
have done a lot of testing and the car feels really good.
It will be a big fight, because this rally always has
some surprises and you never know what can happen with
the weather here, Makinen predicted.
British team-mates Richard Burns and Robert Reid are
contesting the Sanremo Rally for the first time, but the
Carisma GT crew believe that they can strengthen
Mitsubishis strong position in the
Im going to approach the rally the same way
as Finland and Monte Carlo. It wont be easy the
first time and its very slippery in places, but I
hope we can score points, said Burns.
The roads are pretty dirty after the recce, because
the weather has been bad and I think the second leg in
particular will be very demanding. It will be easy to
make a mistake, said Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Team
Manager Phil Short. From our testing, Im sure
our cars will be good. Weve got a particularly good
chance to win if it rains, because the car works well and
weve got a new Michelin wet tyre. Weve
definitely got a good chance, but this rally is very
unpredictable and a lot will depend on what the weather does.
Mitsubishi is also hoping for further success in the
Group N production category, in which the Lancer
Evolution customarily excels. Uruguays Gustavo
Trelles is nearing his third successive Group N world
title for Mitsubishi, but faces a stiff challenge from
talented Austrian Manfred Stohl with a Carisma GT.
The 1494-kilometre rally starts from Sanremos
harbour on October 12. The first leg is compact loop into
the mountains north of the Riviera resort, with eight
stages totalling 120 kilometres.