Friday, December 21, 2007

Gigi Galli for Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team in 2008

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Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team has confirmed that Italian driver Gigi Galli will take over the slot previously held by Jari-Matti Latvala and join Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson for the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship season.

Like his new team-mates, the Italian will compete on all 15-rounds of the series with the latest specification of the Ford Focus RS WRC.

Galli will be nominated permanently to score manufacturers' points while the second scoring driver position will be left open during the year.

The first man to fulfill this position at the first round of the 2008 season, Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo, will be Francois Duval.

The Belgian will be the fourth entrant at the event as he makes his first appearance on board a Focus RS WRC since he left Ford at the end of 2004.

"It's set to be another exciting year for the Stobart team after such a successful season this year. Jari-Matti's promotion to the BP-Ford Abu Dhabi team has left an opportunity for someone to join this very competitive squad and we are happy to announce that it will be Italian driver Gigi Galli. Gigi has a wealth of experience in the WRC and I'm sure will be a great asset for the team," said Team Principal Malcom Wilson. "Matthew and Henning will again be part of the Stobart team after some fantastic performances in the 2007 championship. The battle this year with Subaru came down to the final event in Wales and next year things are again looking strong for the Stobart squad."


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* Outlander unveiled as official Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart support vehicle for Dakar 2008
* Outlander’s size, power, styling and versatility make it the ideal choice
* Long list of technical innovations in standard production cars adapt effortlessly to all types of conditions and terrain

The Mitsubishi Outlander has been selected to be the sole support vehicle[1] for Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart’s title defence in 2008. The modified Outlander will tackle the support vehicles’ route, which differs only slightly from the competing cars. These vehicles require a high degree of off-road ability to cross the challenging terrain of the region's vast, sandy and rocky expanses.

The 2008 Dakar Outlander has been modified to comply with ASO's[2] safety regulations and features four racing bucket seats with full harness belts, a safety roll-cage, an additional fuel tank, underbody protection, Bose dampers, navigational equipment, and a host of other features. The engine, running gear, and fundamental chassis architecture however remain identical to the standard production car.

It is finished in the full racing livery of the competition Pajero/Montero Evolutions and with a carrying capacity of up to 1,691 litres means that the four Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team members and their luggage will be able to travel in comfort and safety throughout the two-week event.

The standard production vehicle comes complete with features such as active control of the four driven wheels, fully independent suspension, high performance brakes and a low centre of gravity which has been achieved in part by an aluminium roof which employs technology tested on Lancer Evolution IX.

Outlander calls on AWC (All Wheel Control) technology, the Mitsubishi-developed electronic 4x4 control system which allows drivers to choose between three modes to match the level of traction control to individual preferences and / or road conditions.

Mitsubishi’s 4x4 systems have been developed over the last 20 years in all terrain vehicles and racing pursuits, the Outlander demonstrates the advanced technological development of the AWC through the switch dial selection.

Main Technical Specifications (Standard Outlander 2.2 Di-D)
Outlander is one of the symbols of the renewal of Mitsubishi Motors' line-up and was the brand's first car to be built on Mitsubishi's “Project Global” architecture, together with the new Lancer family (incl. Lancer Evolution X). It is also packed with Mitsubishi's legendary expertise in the realm of four-wheel drive technology and in the UK is powered by a choice of 2.2 Di-D 156PS (diesel), 2.0 Di-D 140PS (diesel), 2.4 MIVEC 170PS (petrol) engines.

* 156 PS @ 4,000 rpm and 380 Nm @ 2,000 rpm
* From 39.2 mpg (combined cycle)
* From 191 g/km (combined cycle)
* 0-62 mph in 9.9 seconds
* 124 mph maximum speed
* AWC (All-Wheel-Control)
* 6-speed manual gearbox

[1] Dakar 2008 support vehicles (also known as Authorised Assistance Vehicles) are allowed to carry equipment and people to help keep full competition vehicles on the road. The weight and size of these items is not to be higher than the weight limit stated in the International Highway Code, so Outlander’s payload and volume capacity are key to its choice and success.

[2] The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) is the organiser of various major sporting events in addition to the Dakar Rally, including the Tour de France and Paris-Nice professional cycle road races.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart gets ready for the Dakar

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17 December 2007


The four cars which are due to spearhead the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team’s 2008 Dakar bid successfully completed the special shakedown session which took place today at the squad's usual test venue in Marmagne, northwest of Macon, approximately 60km from its headquarters in Pont de Vaux, France.

All four crews braved the freezing weather to give their respective Pajero Montero Evolution MPR13s a final systems check before the vehicles are trucked to Lisbon, Portugal, in time for scrutineering and the official start of the African marathon which kicks off on January 5, 2008.
Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (France), Hiroshi Masuoka/Pascal Maimon (Japan/France) and St├ęphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (France) and Joan 'Nani' Roma/Lucas Cruz (Spain) all profited from the day to bed in a variety of mechanical parts and make a number of fine-tuning adjustments to their cars and seating positions round the maze of gravel tracks that make up the test base.

"Everything went perfectly smoothly," reported the Technical Director of Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sport (MMSP), Thierry Viardot. "The intention of today’s run wasn't to work on the set-up of the cars. That was done some time ago as a function of the results of the different test sessions organised during the year. Our objective was essentially to ensure there were no problems following the cars' build. Certain drivers were happy to call it a day after a brief drive, others spent longer at the wheel, but the exact distance covered by each crew was up to them. When you're talking about an event that lasts several thousand kilometres, it really wasn't a difference of a few of kilometres one way or the other today that will make a big difference once the competitive action begins next month.
"The beauty of the test facilities we use is that they offer a wide variety of surface types and we are free to make any changes we wish if we want to reproduce certain conditions,"concluded Viardot. "Another advantage is the fact that the tracks never get muddy, even it rains. However, with temperatures ranging from -6°C to -3°C today, that wasn't a problem this time!"
The shakedown session took place just days after the crews had completed their final physical fitness course of the year together. After their hike le Tour du Mont Blanc in July and a week of outdoor activities in Catalonia, Spain in November, this month's programme took them to the Thalasso Centre in Douarnenez, in Brittany, France, for a week of running, cycling, swimming, sauna and thalasso-therapy.

"It's always nice to get together off events but this sort of work is a vital part of our build-up to the Dakar," explained Luc Alphand's co-driver and former biker Gilles Picard. "The programme wasn't quite as intensive as it was the two other two times, and the sauna and thalasso-therapy were quite relaxing. That said, it was still sufficiently taxing to ensure we slept soundly each night!"
The 16-day 2008 Dakar starts in Lisbon on Saturday, January 5, and is scheduled to finish by the Lac Rose, near Dakar, Senegal, on Sunday, January 20.


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Monday, December 10, 2007

Mitsubishi Clean Diesel engines for the 2009 Dakar

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• Mitsubishi announces High Performance Clean Diesel engines to compete in Dakar 2009
• 2008 Dakar Pajero Evolution improved, even under new technical restrictions
• Mitsubishi’s CEO, Osama Masuko, looks for record-breaking 8th consecutive Dakar victory

Mitsubishi is preparing to defend its eight consecutive victories in the toughest endurance race on the planet, the Dakar 2008.

Mitsubishi’s CEO, Osama Masuko, has also announced that the event will be providing essential technical feedback for the all-new range of high performance clean diesel engines, which have been confirmed will make their debut at the Dakar in 2009.

Feedback on both durability and endurance data is essential for the manufacturer’s revolutionary development of clean diesel engines to be seen in a number of future production models.

The Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team has also been making final preparations for the 2008 event, with testing in Morocco and Tunisia. Even under the tight new performance handicap regulations of reduced engine air-restrictor and obligatory switch from six- to five-speed gear box, Masuko added that this work produced multiple gains in terms of transmission endurance, suspension and handling. As a result, the overall performance is even stronger than it was for the Dakar 2007.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Mitsubishi win honors in What Van?'s awards [UK]

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• Mitsubishi Outlander Commercial wins What Van?’s ‘Best 4x4 Van’ award for 2007
• 4 wins in the last 7 years, and 2 runners up places since the award began in 2001

The Mitsubishi Outlander Commercial has been named ‘Best 4x4 Van’ at this year’s prestigious What Van? Awards, firmly establishing Mitsubishi as the 4x4 commercial vehicle supplier of choice, regardless of the job in hand.

What Van?’s Neil McIntee commented that the Outlander Commercial is “capable in the rough and user-friendly around town and on rural routes and high speed intercity runs”. He also noted that its specification, handling on-road and off-road and faultless reliability make it “a handy package for everybody from the construction site foreman to the local vet”.

The Outlander commercial costs just £16,999 CVLP , and has sold out across the UK in both car and commercial variants since launch in March 2007. Mitsubishi recently announced that it will be adding an additional 20,000 units of production to its Nedcar plant in Holland for 2008 to help satisfy UK and pan-European demand.

Toby Marshall, General Manager of Fleet & Used Car Sales at Mitsubishi collected the award, stating that “the Outlander’s easy-to-use four-wheel drive system and Active Stability Control make it a positive asset for corporate health and safety concerns, and with an mpg of 42.8 (combined) and an incredibly low CO2 rating of just 174g/km means that businesses can reduce their carbon footprint as well”.


• Mitsubishi L200 wins What Van?’s ‘Best Pick-up’ award for 2007
• 11 wins in the last 15 years, plus 2 runners up prizes since the awards began in 1993
• Rugged and stylish off-roader proves its UK and global popularity

The Mitsubishi L200 has been named ‘Best Pick-up’ at this year’s prestigious What Van? Awards for the 11th time out of the last 15 years since the awards began.

What Van?’s Neil McIntee commented that the L200 was a good example of a “stylish, well equipped comfortable package… not lacking in punch around town or the motorway”. He also noted that it “is no slouch off-road either, fording streams and tackling muddy ascents and descents, and rutted boulder strewn tracks with ease”, which is exactly why small businesses, farmers, construction companies and Government Departments such as the Environment Agency have once again chosen the L200 for their businesses in 2007.

Toby Marshall, General Manager of Fleet & Used Car Sales at Mitsubishi stated that “it is an honour for us to receive this award as it firmly establishes the L200 as the clear favourite among commercial vehicle operators”.

Indeed, Mitsubishi offers the most comprehensive range of pick-up trucks from the entry level single cab at just £12,599 CVLP up to the range-topping Diamond double cab with automatic transmission at £22,249 CVLP.

The award, combined with Mitsubishi’s Thai production facility exporting its millionth L200 this year, sets the vehicle apart as a clear favourite in the UK and across Mitsubishi’s global markets.