Communique 1

Daily Communique

Saturday, November 18, 1995
Communique 1


The eighth and final round of the FIA World Rally Championship - the Network Q RAC Rally - starts tomorrow, Sunday November 19, and Team Petronas Mitsubishi Ralliart will be aiming to lift the prestigious Manufacturers' World title with a pair of Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IIIs driven by Kenneth Eriksson and Tommi Makinen.

Mitsubishi leads the World series by two points after victories by Kenneth Eriksson in Sweden and Australia, and a solid points-scoring run on every round of the championship. The team has performed extensive testing for the RAC Rally, especially with Michelin tyre technicians, since slippery black ice is expected on many of the 28 special stages covering 520 km in four days in a total route of 2330 km.

Swede Eriksson stressed the challenge of the RAC Rally, explaining: "I am expecting it to be very cold with a lot of black ice in the mornings, so we will have to be very careful. However, we have finished a lot of good testing with the Lancer which has provided very useful information. The car is almost the same as in Australia where I won. It has a very good four-wheel drive system - the best in rallying - so I will be able to race hard. I will always do the best I can for myself and Mitsubishi."

His Mitsubishi team mate, Finn Tommi Makinen, echoed Kenneth's sentiments, stating: "We are well prepared. We have adjusted the suspension and differential settings but otherwise there are no major changes to the car - it is perfect for this event. I will watch the weather very carefully, just like everyone else. The RAC is always slippery, with ice, and it is very unpredictable. I prefer it when it's wet and muddy, but there might be some snow on this rally. It is going to be a very interesting event."

Team Petronas Mitsubishi Ralliart Director Andrew Cowan added: "We conducted our normal, very thorough, RAC preparation and our last-minute tyre testing procedure has been very useful. all season and it's been the same here. In fact, we were out in the ice and snow in Wales this morning to glean the latest data. Both our drivers are very relaxed and well prepared for the challenge ahead. They know what we need to do to win the Manufacturers' title and that is to ensure that both cars finish well. There are no team orders at this stage and we will just have to see how the event progresses."

The two Group A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IIIs will be backed by Rui Madeira's Group N Ralliart Germany version as the third nominated car to score points in the Manufacturers' World Championship. Madeira has already won the Group N World Championship for Mitsubishi, completing his dominance of the 1995 series with another fine win on the Catalunya Rally last month. "My Lancer Evolution III is even further improved since Catalunya for this event. The RAC Rally is difficult and very long, but I like very much some of these stages," said the Portuguese driver.

The RAC Rally gets underway with seven special stages tomorrow, starting from the historic Roman city of Chester at 08:10. The 179 starters will face a day of short "spectator specials" through the stately homes and park lands of the English Midlands, mostly on tarmac, before finishing the first day in Leeds at 18:31.

Communique 5 & 4 / Communique 3 / Communique 2


Copyright 1995 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

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