1996 RALLY INDONESIA
Friday 10 MAY
MAKINEN POISED FOR SUCCESS IN MITSUBISHI LANCER
FIA World Rally Championship leader Tommi Makinen is perfectly poised in second place in his Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Lancer Evolution III after leg one of the Rally Indonesia which finished in the Lake Toba resort of Parapat, northern Sumatra, this evening, May 10, 1996.
The young Finn, co-driven by Seppo Harjanne, survived a frantic battle through the steaming Sumatran jungle with reigning Champion Colin McRae, finishing just four seconds behind the Subaru driver after leading for six of the nine stages during day one.
Conditions were difficult as humidity levels reached 98 per cent and frequent showers made the tracks dangerously slippery. Makinen confidently took the lead from the second stage, although he slid into a bridge parapet on the seventh stage, losing 11 seconds to McRae. Several other cars also hit the bridge, including Kenneth Eriksson who retired because his Subaru was too badly damaged. Makinen's Lancer survived the impact with right-hand body and minor suspension damage. The Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Technicians were able to repair the car quickly, and Makinen was able to enter the following stage still in first place.
Makinen reports: "I had a very good run today, although we were a bit unlucky when we hit the bridge on stage seven. It was a very dangerous place and there was water on the road which made it very slippery. But the car is still in perfect condition for tomorrow and it is driving very well. I was a little slower on the last two stages because I do not want to be first on the road tomorrow. We are in a very good position. It has been very diificult to judge the conditions so far on this event, but Michelin has supported us well and the new tyres developed for this rally work very well in all conditions, wet or dry, and I have very good control."
Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Manager Phil Short is delighted with Tommi's performance today, commenting: "The Lancer requires only routine maintenance tonight, although we will check the suspension very carefully after the accident on stage seven. The car will be in perfect condition for tomorrow. Tommi didn't push on the last two stages because we are very happy for him to be second at this point. With the track surface so unpredictable in this weather, we would rather someone else hit any problems first! "
Mitsubishi also leads Group N, with Indonesian driver Arief Indiarto holding first place in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III. Mitsubishi World Championship nominated driver for this event, Yoshihiro Kataoka was battling for the lead, until a puncture delayed his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III on the seventh stage for four minutes. He finished the leg in fourth place in the category and 14th place overall despite the delay.
Unfortunately, Britain's Richard Burns was unable to show his true potential on this event when he slid into a tree in the hazardous conditions on the first stage, badly damaging the front of his Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Lancer Evolution III. The oil cooler and an oil pipe were broken in the accident which caused the engine to lose oil, and he was forced to withdraw during the third stage hen the oil pressure fell too low to keep the engine running safely.
The survivors from the 66 cars that started the first leg today covered nine special stages totalling 140 km in a 329 km route south from Medan to Lake Toba through tropical jungle and rubber plantations.
Damp track conditions and showers are expected again tomorrow when the Rally Indonesia restarts at 06:00 from Parapat for the second leg. Seven special stages will be tackled covering 117 km in a total route of 460 km before the rally returns for its second overnight halt in Parapat at approximately 18:15.
OVERALL CLASSIFICATION END OF LEG 1
1. C. McRae/D. Ringer - GB/GB - SUBARU IMPREZA 555 1.38.00
- FIN/FIN - MITSUBISHI LANCER EV III 1.38.05
3. J. Kankkunen/N. Grist - FIN/GB - TOYOTA CELICA GT FOUR 1.41.06
4. C. Sainz/L. Moya - E/E - FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH 1.41.29
5. P. Liatti/F. Ponz - I/I - SUBARU IMPREZA 555 1.41.30
6. G. Evans/H. Davies - GB/GB - FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH 1.46.20
7. Y. Fujimoto/A. Hertz - J/S - TOYOTA CELICA 1.46.58
- RI/RI - MITSUBISHI LANCER EV III 1.49.26 1st Gr N
9. D. Indra Nst/F. Sungkar - RI/RI - FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH 1.50.07
10. I. Gading/K. Harilatu - RI/RI -SUBARU IMPREZA 555 1.50.21
11. M. Lieu/Y. Nakahara - HK/J - SUBARU CG8 IMPREZA 1.51.55
- RI/RI - MITSUBISHI LANCER EV III 1.52.30
13. R. Pribadi/D. Giraudet - RI/F - TOYOTA CELICA GT FOUR 1.53.14
- J/J - MITSUBISHI LANCER EV III 1.54.14
15. N. Tajima/V. Sukosi - J/T - SUZUKI SWIFT 1.54.34
Copyright 1996 by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.
Back to INDEX