Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mitsubishi "i MiEV" in Monaco [MC]

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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
Mitsubishi "i MiEV" in Monaco

* Prince Albert II of Monaco thrilled after test drive
* 4 day test drives through the Principality
* Vehicles in the fleet everyday test in Europe

Hattersheim, 18.12.2008. As part of ongoing fleet tests in various European countries, a Mitsubishi i MiEV * now also in the Principality of Monaco decision makers from government, business, energy and NGOs presented. The vehicle was four days intensively tested and discussed.

The highlight of the successful program was a test ride by His Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco by the Principality. The committed environmentalist, who with his foundation, "Fondation Prince Albert II of Monaco" particularly for the environment and sustainable development, was thrilled by his test vehicle: "This is the future and I'm happy that their company has taken this direction . The car that I've driven today, is ready for practical use in the urban area. It convinced by his dynamism and performance. This kind of pollution-free cars, I'd like in the near future to see streets of Monaco. "

In October 2006 announced first MiEV i represents the tip of Mitsubishi Motors' environmentally friendly technologies. Mitsubishi Motors has already 2007, an i-MiEV-life test fleets with a total of seven Japanese energy companies started. The success of these tests has led Mitsubishi Motors, the launch date for the i MiEV already in Japan for the summer of 2009 set. Outside Europe can find more everyday tests in the United States and New Zealand tired. After the test of practicality, acceptance and marketability will be on the introduction on the European market decided.

Mitsubishi "i MiEV"
Technical Data
Small base vehicle Mitsubishi "i"
Length x width x height 3,395 x 1,475 x 1,600 mm
Curb weight 1,080 kg
Seating capacity 4
Top speed 130 km / h
Reach 144 km per charge (EU Mode)
Charging at 15 Amp./220 V (onboard cargo unit) 5 / 7 hrs
Rotary Power 50 kW/200 V (quick charge) 20 / 25 min. (80%)
Motor Permanentmagnetisierter synchronous motor
Max power 47 kW/64 hp
Max torque 180 nm
Maximum speed 8,500 1/min
Battery Type Lithium Ion
Voltage 330 V
Capacity of 16 kWh / 20 kWh *
Inverter control
Drive to the rear wheels
* MiEV: Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle

Mitsubishi Ralliart Thailand to compete in Dakar 09 with Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Evolution [TH]

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Mitsubishi Ralliart Thailand to compete in Dakar 09 with Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Evolution [TH]

Mitsubishi Ralliart Thailand have built the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Evolution for the upcoming Dakar 2009 in South America. The new car will replace the Triton Racing Truck Evolution. The new rally car will be piloted by Mana PORNSIRICHERD and Thierry LACAMBRE.



Specifications:

Engine: MITSUBISHI 3.2 4M41 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve turbocharged diesel engine
Displacement (cc): 3,200
Clutch: Single-disk AP Racing clutch
Gearbox: 5-speed manual with transfer
Chassis: Tubular
Body: Carbon-kevlar body
Suspensions:
>Front: Double wishbone 2 coil-over Öhlins shock absorbers
>Rear: Multi-link 2 coil-over Öhlins shock absorbers
Steering: Rack-and-pinion short-ratio
Brakes:
>Front: ALCON ventilated disk
->Diameter (mm): 325
->Caliper: ALCON 4-piston
>Rear: ALCON ventilated disk
->Diameter (mm): 325
->Caliper: ALCON 4-piston
Wheels and tires:
>Wheels: 16" magnesium Technomagnesio
>Tires: BF Goodrich G1
Dimensions:
>Overall length (mm): 4,354
>Overall width (mm): 2,000
>Overall height (mm): 1,848
>Wheelbase (mm): 2,780
>Front overhang (mm): 742
>Rear overhang (mm): 822
>Front wheel track (mm): 1,686
>Rear wheel track (mm): 1,724
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2009 DAKAR RALLY
15 DECEMBER 2008
SHAKEDOWN

TEAM REPSOL MITSUBISHI RALLIART COMPLETE DETAILED 2009 DAKAR RALLY PREPARATIONS

The Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team have completed a final shakedown and a varied preparation program for the 2009 Dakar Rally, which starts in Buenos Aires on Saturday, January 3rd and finishes in the Argentine capital on Sunday, January 18th.

The Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team has been set up by the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in association with partners Repsol, Valeo and BFGoodrich.

Key team members took part in a final shakedown in frosty and bright conditions at Le Creusot in France today (Monday). This was the culmination of several weeks of training for the world’s toughest off-road rally and took place in the presence of around 180 journalists from all over Europe.

Mitsubishi will field an unchanged team line-up in four new turbo-diesel ’Racing Lancers’, with drivers Luc Alphand, Stéphane, Hiroshi Masuoka, Peterhansel, and, Joan ’Nani’ Roma and being joined by their respective co-drivers Gilles Picard, Pascal Maimon, Jean-Paul Cottret and Lucas Cruz Senra in South America.

In the last four weeks, team members have taken part in physical training sessions and crucial tests to ensure that nothing is left to chance in the build up to what the Japanese manufacturer hopes will be a record-breaking eighth successive victory in the Dakar, which heads to South America for the first time.

Key team personnel took part in a five-day physical training session at Douarnenez, in the Finistère department of Brittany on France’s Atlantic north-western coast, between November 10th-14th.

This was followed by a second session at Prémanon in the Jura mountains on December 8th-12th to ensure that Mitsubishi’s all-important and renowned team spirit is working to its optimum and drivers and co-drivers are fully-prepared, both mentally and physically, and focused in readiness for January’s punishing schedule of motor sport competition.

The second physical training session was followed by a one-day shakedown at the Bourg-en-Bresse circuit, north-east of Lyon, on Saturday, December 13th and the second session at Le Creusot, in the Saône-et-Loire department of the Bourgogne region, today (Monday).

The team’s new Racing Lancers will leave by ’plane to Buenos Aires on Friday, December 19th, but the race trucks and team support vehicles are currently aboard the Grand Benelux, which set sail from Le Havre in northern France on Monday, December 1st and is reported to be passed the Bay of Biscay in the Atlantic Ocean and well en route for the Argentinean port of Zarata, near Buenos Aires.

Team personnel will spend Christmas with their families before the drivers and co-drivers fly out to South America on Saturday, December 27th to begin final preparations before the start of the 31st Dakar Rally on Saturday, January 3rd. The remainder of the 64-strong team will depart on Monday, December 29th.

WHAT THEY SAID...

Dominique Serieys, Team Director
"Everything has gone well with the physical training and the shakedowns. The purpose of the shakedown is to make sure that we are completely ready for the first special stage in South America. We have a new car for the Dakar, but we have enough experience to have left nothing to chance in our preparations.

"Our crews spent a week simulating higher altitudes to help them adjust quickly to any changes we will face. They will go to Argentina one week before the start to avoid the effects of any jet-lag and also to get used to the warmer summer temperatures."

Thierry Viardot, Technical Director
"The first shakedown on Saturday was useful for us to make any last minute changes to the electronics and to calibrate such things as the co-drivers’ display units. We used a tarmac surface, where the cars were clean, and we could make any adjustments without them getting covered in mud. The four cars are identical and today’s shakedown was a last chance to test out several components and give ourselves two days to make any changes before the cars leave for South America."

Luc Alphand
"Both the shakedown tests were great. It’s nice to get into a car, where everything is new and working well. We had no problems at all. I only drove for around five or six kilometres this morning, but I still have a good feeling about this car. The first thing you notice is the different noise, but it is powerful, has good torque and feels superb to drive.

"I suppose, with my skiing background, I should be least affected by the altitude and I was least affected in the simulation tests. I spent the last two nights at 3,000 meters and felt okay."

Hiroshi Masuoka
"The physical training sessions in the mountains and at the seaside went very well. Everything was okay with the tarmac test and the shakedown on gravel. It was perfect. We have a new place for the Dakar, a new world, with a new engine and a new car. This is very exciting for me. I will be taking part in my 21st Dakar Rally and will be hoping to win for the third time. If that is not possible, I would be very happy if Mitsubishi continued the winning run."

Stéphane Peterhansel
"We have enjoyed two quite different training sessions. The first was very nice in Brittany. We were able to use the mountain bikes in the mornings and then try our hand at sailing for the first time in the afternoons. This was good fun. Then, we went to the Jura mountains, near Geneva, and carried out some cross-country skiing. The course was not so high, maybe only around 1000 meters, but we slept in special simulated bedrooms with less oxygen, which was similar to living at about 2,500 meters.

"The two shakedowns were different, but useful. The tarmac one was used for checking all the data, things like air pressure and gas pressures. On the off-road course today we were able to check the shock absorbers and make any final changes.

"For me the move to South America does not mean that the event loses any of its character. I still think that it will be a very difficult race, with dunes and hard stages. Maybe in the past I have managed to take advantage of the sand dunes in Mauritania, but I still feel that this will be a close and exciting race."

Joan ’Nani’ Roma
"I have been very happy with the physical training and the two small shakedowns. In Prémanon we were able to ski each day and try and adjust to living at high altitude. We were simulating staying at around 2,500 meters to try and get a feeling for what it will be like on the higher stages in South America.

"We did some gym work and some stretching as well and this followed our first training session last month, where we rode on the bike and did some water sports, like sailing. I have also been working on my own training program with a personal trainer. I feel in great condition and will spend a few days at 2,500 meters in the south of Spain in the Sierra Nevada to make sure that I am ready for the race.

"We had two small shakedowns with the race cars over the last three days to make any last minute changes. The first at Bourg-en-Bresse was on the tarmac. It was useful for the engineers and also for us to get a feel for the cars. Today (Monday) was a little quicker. There was a small jump, but there were around 240 VIPs, sponsors, media and friends here, so it had a more relaxed feel to it."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Subaru pulls out of WRC, following Suzuki's withdrawal

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Subaru to withdraw from World Rally Championship

16 December 2008
Subaru has announced its decision to withdraw from the 2009 World Rally Championship

This sudden decision was in response to the widespread economic downturn that is affecting the entire automotive industry, and follows Suzuki’s withdrawal announced yesterday.

After 20 years in the sport, during which time the Prodrive-run Subaru World Rally Team has won six World Rally Championship titles, this is not only sad news for Subaru and the team, but also for millions of rallying fans around the world. Thanks to its highly successful World Rally Championship programme, Subaru has developed into one of the world’s most widely recognised and evocative automotive brands.

Prodrive chairman, David Richards, said: “Subaru’s departure from the World Rally Championship is a great loss as it is one of the sport’s icons. The Subaru World Rally Team has created true champions such as Colin McRae and Richard Burns and its absence will be felt by many the world over. Although this decision closes a significant chapter in Prodrive’s history, our focus now turns to the future.”

For many, Prodrive and Subaru are synonymous, given the long-standing and close association between the two companies. However, while the Subaru World Rally Team historically represented a significant part of Prodrive’s business, today it accounts for no more than 20 per cent of the company’s turnover.

Prodrive will look to redeploy as many of the rally team as possible in other areas of its business operations, which have grown to span advanced engineering and manufacturing for the automotive, defence, marine and aerospace industries, in addition to other motorsport programmes.

Despite the current economic downturn, Prodrive’s automotive engineering business remains buoyant as it works with vehicle manufacturers to accelerate the development of next generation fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative fuel technologies.

Together with Subaru, Prodrive’s commitment to its customer rally teams will also continue unabated for 2009 and beyond. Over the past 15 years, Prodrive has sold close to 500 rally cars to more than 400 private competitors and independent rally teams in 47 countries. During this time, Prodrive’s customers have won five consecutive Production World Rally Championships and countless international rallies. In 2008, Prodrive-supported customer teams have claimed eight rally championship titles around the world.

Looking ahead, 2010 will see the introduction of new World Rally Championship technical regulations, which provide Prodrive with an opportunity to prepare for re-entering the championship with a new team and build on its 24 years of World Rally Championship experience and success.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Suzuki halts WRC program amidst global economic turmoil

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Suzuki to suspend the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) activities

Suzuki Motor Corporation has decided to suspend the FIA World Rally Championship activities from 2009. The company made the 2008 season entry with two SX4 WRCs.

In responding to the contraction of the automotive sales caused by recent global economic turmoil, Suzuki has been promptly taking possible countermeasures including the reassessment of its global production output. The company, however, foresees the shrinking trend in longer periods of time rather than a short-term phenomenon. To secure its own business environment for tomorrow, the organization reviews every aspect of the operations and decided to focus on the core business functions such as the manufacturing system, environment technologies, and development of new-generation powertrains. As a result, Suzuki concluded to suspend the WRC activities from 2009.

Suzuki started to participate in the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) in 2002 with Ignis Super 1600 and achieved the driver’s victories two times in the history. Afterwards, the company moved up to the WRC field in 2008. The entry to JWRC and WRC brought a great deal of positive effects on the product development and marketing activities, nurturing the high sporty automotive brand image, especially in Europe.

Suzuki will continue to support the customers who are participating in the JWRC with Swift Super 1600 machines, and local motor sport such as Swift Cup in Europe and the rest of the world.

Suzuki expresses its great appreciation to sponsors and fans around the world for their strong support to its activities. The company will continue to provide valued products for its customers by utilizing the experiences earned through the JWRC and WRC activities.

Friday, December 12, 2008

FIA announces more details of the future World Rally Car

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12/12/08
New World Rally Car details revealed

The FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has announced further technical details of the future World Rally Car.

After meeting today in Monaco, the council reconfirmed that the 2010 World Rally Car will be based on an S2000 specification car.

However, the scope of the removable performance kit, already adopted by the WMSC to bring the car to WRC specification, has been redefined - with no electronic benefits, or similar upgrades, allowed on cost grounds.

Instead, the WRC kit is believed to be limited to a turbo, revised inlet and exhaust manifolds, a quicker gearshift mechanism (with steering wheel paddle shift) and an aero package consisting of a rear wing and front spoiler. The bolt-on kit will cost under 30.000 Euros and should give the cars an extra 50bhp.

The WMSC also decided that the new S2000-based World Rally Car will only be permitted for use on World Rally Championship events, and that the P-WRC will remain open to Group N cars, including the existing S2000 car.

The FIA also revealed that it is in exclusive negotiations with Ralliart Italy to supply and service Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution cars for the Pirelli Star Drivers to contest the designated 2009 and 2010 FIA World Rally Championship events.

-wrc.com

South Yorkshire Police to use Evo X to hunt down criminals [UK]

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Tuesday, 09 December 2008

SOUTH YORKSHIRE POLICE HUNT IN PACKS WITH THEIR LANCER EVOLUTION TRILOGY

* Lancer Evolution X to be used in the Road Crime Unit
* Inspector praises Evolution’s strong visual impact, performance and safety credentials
* All-new Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system adds extra value to crime stoppers

Evo X Has Excellent Pursuit Capabilities
The new Police specification Evolution X has arrived with South Yorkshire Police to the great delight of its drivers, and the chagrin of local villains. The new car will be used alongside the ever present Evolution VIII and IX in the Road Crime Unit where proactive road policing is the mission and officers will be driving the new car in cases involving drug dealers and car thieves. “The Evo X was the car of choice because of its excellent pursuit capabilities and the fact that so much time and effort has been put into maximising performance whilst minimising the risk of accidents” Inspector Slack explained.

The Hunted Will Give Up
The new member of the team will be used on the same missions and at the same time as its previous-generation siblings, creating such a strong visual impact that the vehicle being pursued will often simply give up the chase and pull over, knowing they won’t be able to out-run the RCU. What is more, the Police Evolutions ‘hunt’ in packs of three, which, Inspector Slack explained is often enough of a deterrent that high-speed chases are avoided.

Evo X Has The Latest Software and Hardware
Not only will the new Evolution X be one of the most capable performing cars, it will also be fitted with the latest Police hardware and software combinations. The onboard Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system allows officers to check who the vehicle is registered to and if there is anything remotely suspicious about the vehicle.





Thursday, December 11, 2008

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service choose the L200 for Search and Rescue [UK]

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Monday, 08 December 2008

MITSUBISHI SEALS URBAN FIRE AND RESCUE ROLE
~ Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Choose The L200 For Their Specialist Requirements ~

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) serves a population of over 707,000 people with an area stretching from the outskirts of London into the Midlands. Every year it receives over 21,000 calls for assistance, over 10,000 of which are for emergency incidents – that’s more than 27 emergency call-outs per day, every day.

L200s Called Into Service Within Hours
With the recent introduction of five Mitsubishi L200s to their fleet, the Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service (BFRS) has expanded its fleet to 170 vehicles – 115 cars and vans and 115 front-line vehicles including fire engines, Urban Search and Rescue lorries and special appliances such as turntable ladders and water carriers.

Jez Finden (Group Manager, Transport) commented that within hours of the two vehicles being registered with them they were out in action, helping with a number of incidents which occurred during a period of unusually heavy rain and flooding.

The L200 - A True Working Vehicle
Roy Harold (Area Manager, Property, Procurement & Transport) found that many vehicles in the same class as the L200 were aimed more at the leisure market than the demanding work environment: “we needed a vehicle that had AWD capability with a good ground clearance for use in adverse weather conditions such as snow and floods. Our Urban Search and Rescue teams have to cope with some of the most extreme and dangerous situations, so we needed vehicles that could go off-tarmac in a wide variety of emergency scenarios.”

Sunday, December 7, 2008

MMC to collaborate with PROTON on a new PROTON branded vehicle

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Mitsubishi Motors announce vehicle, technology collaboration for a PROTON brand vehicle

Tokyo, December 5, 2008 — Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today the signing of a contract with Malaysia's major automobile manufacturer, Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (PONSB)*1, covering the technology for, as well as the development and production of, a new PROTON vehicle. In addition, the contract will grant a license to the Malaysian automaker to manufacture a new Mitsubishi vehicle based product.

Through this and other collaboration projects in the fields of development and production, MMC aims to expand its Malaysian business beyond the current export shipments of built-up cars from Japan to that nation. For its part, PONSB aims to work with MMC to expand its model lineup as well as to raise quality levels and make more effective use of its production plant.

The two companies are also continuing to study other mutually beneficial avenues of collaboration.

*1 A wholly owned subsidiary of PROTON Holdings Berhad

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mitsubishi Motors to compete in Dakar 09 with 4 Racing Lancers

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2009 DAKAR RALLY
4 DECEMBER 2008

2009 DAKAR PARTICIPATION WITH FOUR DIESEL-TURBO RACING LANCERS

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and its motor sport unit, the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team, in association with its partners Repsol, Valeo and BFGoodrich, has entered four new turbo-diesel 'Racing Lancers' for the 2009 Dakar Rally.

The event will start from the Argentine capital Buenos Aires on Saturday, January 3, before striking south to the South Atlantic resort of Puerto Madrine. The route will then head west over the dusty trails up and over the Andes Mountains.

Competitors will benefit from a rest day in the historic Chilean Pacific port of Valparaiso on Saturday January 10, with competitive action resuming the following day. The second half of the event will take them north to the Atacama Desert, then back across the Andes and into Argentina again. After a stopover in Argentina's second-biggest city, Cordoba, the rally will end with the official finish in Buenos Aires on Sunday, January 18.

The total length of the 2009 Dakar is 9,574km, including 5,652km divided into 14 special stages. The latter range in length from 215km to 666km, with four tests that exceed 500km. Competitors also face altitudes of more than 3,000 meters as they cross the Andes Mountains.

The Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart team is poised to kick off its first full season using turbocharged diesel power with a four-car entry on the 2009 Dakar. The team's bid will be spearheaded by its latest cross-country rally car, the new Racing Lancer.

The four-car driver line-up is the same as that which has represented the team on this annual cross-country rally since 2005, namely Luc Alphand / Gilles Picard (France), Hiroshi Masuoka / Pascal Maimon (Japan / France), Stephane Peterhansel / Jean Paul Cottret (France), and Joan 'Nani' Roma / Lucas Cruz (Spain).

The 31st Dakar Rally will see the event switch to fresh territory in South America where Mitsubishi's foursome will be looking to secure not only the firm's first-ever victory with a diesel powered car, but also the company's 13th success on this event, - including a run of seven successive wins since 2001.

Dominique SERIEYES (Team Director):
"We have a long unbeaten run on the Dakar to defend and we go to South America with the objective of winning. For the first time, we will be fielding four brand new cars and we have done all we can to ensure that nothing has been left to chance. The Racing Lancer won its maiden event 'out of the box' against a strong entry on October's Baja Portalegre 500 in Portugal. That was obviously encouraging, but the 2009 Dakar will be a very different sort of challenge. "That said, we will have one of the most experienced crew line-ups and that could prove invaluable on such a long event where a group attitude and an overall team strategy are vital. Our four drivers are as quick, committed and determined as ever. They are also fit and strong physically, and I'm convinced that will play an important role because I can see this year's Dakar being very tough indeed."

Osamu NAKAYAMA (Team Principal and MMSP President):
"We go to South America with every intention of claiming our eighth straight Dakar win. Mitsubishi hasn't been defeated on this unique event since 2001 and everyone in the team is extremely keen to continue that unbeaten record. We all want to get the competition career of the new Racing Lancer off to the most successful start possible, too.
"The Dakar will be Mitsubishi's first major motor sport event using diesel power, so it is clearly a very important milestone for us. I know I will be able to count on a particularly strong and experienced line-up of drivers and co-drivers, as well as on the untiring efforts of the teams at Mitsubishi Motors and MMSP who have produced the most competitive package to try to win the Dakar for a record 13th time."

Luc ALPHAND:
"Despite the switch to South America, I am sure we will find all the classic ingredients that have forged the Dakar's reputation over the years. I am convinced the 2009 event will be a tough challenge in sporting terms, but also a real human adventure.
"The new Mitsubishi Racing Lancer will be a big asset for us. We spent much of 2008 working on producing a nicely balanced package. Reliability was another priority and I think there is a great deal more to come from this car, but it already responds well. The diesel engine is very strong, too, and its chassis is extremely efficient. Its longer wheelbase should make it even more comfortable to drive on the faster portions.
"We will try to be as consistent as possible. The pace promises to be extremely quick from start to finish and the route includes some very long stages which will call for total concentration. The stages are also likely to be tough physically. The terrain and the conditions will be very different from what we are accustomed to in Africa, but nobody should underestimate the difficulty we face.

Hiroshi MASUOKA:
''The Racing Lancer's 3-liter turbo-diesel V6 was developed at Mitsubishi Motors' Okazaki research center in Japan, and I was involved as development driver from an early stage. This engine has plenty of torque and the way it accelerates is amazing. At the same time, it is remarkably fuel-efficient. We can therefore carry less fuel and that, in turn, means less weight. "The move from Africa to South America obviously marks a big change and the atmosphere promises to be very different from that of Dakars of the past. We will be competing with a new car on unfamiliar territory but I feel I can challenge for victory. I will try to profit as much as possible from the experience I have built up of the event since my first entry in 1987. If we succeed in not making any mistakes and steering clear of trouble, a top result will follow as a matter of course…"

Stephane PETERHANSEL:
"I am curious to see what Argentina and Chile hold in store for us. I've visited both countries before - in 2005, for the Por Las Pampas Rally. That was very long event and quite difficult, but it was good training because it means we have an approximate idea of what to expect on this year's Dakar.
"I was given the honour of driving the new Racing Lancer on its debut on Portugal's Baja Portalegre 500 which we won. That result was both reassuring and highly encouraging. We also covered a great deal of ground testing the Racing Lancer in 2008 without suffering any serious technical problems, so we seem to have the reliability. The new diesel engine is more powerful and delivers more torque, too, of course, and we have also made excellent progress with the new chassis and suspension. In this domain, I have to say that the Racing Lancer is one of the best packages I have ever had the privilege to drive during my time with Mitsubishi. It is very comfortable and particularly efficient over bumpy terrain and jumps."

Joan 'Nani' ROMA:
"The 2009 Dakar is sure to be an extremely close and exciting event. Lucas and I face strong opposition, and that includes our own team-mates. That said, I have always felt a strong sense of team spirit at Mitsubishi. All four of us will be targeting victory, but we also know that we are above all there to win for Mitsubishi, and that calls for a selfless group approach. The team deserves nothing less, especially given the incredible job everyone has put to develop the new Racing Lancer in Japan and France. I believe our car will be both reliable and competitive.
"Although I've already won the Dakar as a biker, I'm the only member of the team who has yet to win it on four wheels, so that's something I would like to put right this time round! I think physical fitness will play a key role, especially since there are several very long stages of 500km and 600km in length which follow on from each other in quick succession, not to mention the heat, the sand and the altitude. But the team has always placed a great deal of emphasis on training.

THE NEW MITSUBISHI RACING LANCER

The motor sport department of Mitsubishi Motors and MMSP both contributed to the development of the Racing Lancer which complies with the Group T1 regulations of the FIA (motor sport's international governing body: Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) introduced in 2002. The firm's latest cross-country rally car, which has been designed to take onboard the new super production regulations when they come into force in 2010, has benefited extensively from the experience acquired with the Pajero/Montero Evolution.

The development of the turbo-diesel engine began in April 2006 before it was grafted into a Pajero/Montero Evolution for testing purposes in June 2007. Development of the body started in August 2007 and the first Racing Lancer was completed in June 2008. This car was put through its paces during one-week test sessions in Spain and Morocco, as well as over typical cross-country rally terrain in France. Based on the data collected during these tests, further sessions were organized in Morocco at the end of August/early September plus another two weeks in October prior to the Racing Lancer's debut on the sixth round of the FIA Cross-Country Baja International Cup, the Baja Portalegre (October 30-November 2).

The Racing Lancer is based on a new multi-tubular steel frame. The team has taken particular care to minimize weight, while the additional space freed up by the longer wheelbase - a decision based on the regulations due to come into force in 2010 - has enabled the gas tank to be positioned lower in the car and has consequently brought down the centre of gravity. Handling has also been improved thanks to the new location of the spare tires which ensures enhanced control of the moment of inertia.

Mitsubishi Motors' design department was responsible for the body styling which uses carbon panels based on the design of the Lancer Sportback. The design was finalized after validation of the new car's aerodynamic performance in a wind tunnel.

The powerful 3-liter V6 diesel engine features a two-stage turbocharger which positions a small and large turbine configuration on each side of engine, working with both the small and large turbine according to engine speed and load.

Peak torque is 66.3kgfm (650Nm), while maximum power currently stands at 280PS (206kW), although this figure is expected to increase as development work continues. The cooling system of the intercooler is positioned at the rear of the car and is fed by the characteristic roof-mounted air scoop.

The V6 engine is fed through a manual Ricardo five-speed sequential gearbox engineered to cope with the high torque delivered by the powerplant. The Racing Lancer's permanent four-wheel drive transmission features the same self-locking differential as that used for the Pajero/Montero Evolution.

Both the front and rear suspension systems feature extensively revised geometry and are both based on a double wishbone layout with coil springs, anti-roll bars and uprated BOS dampers which can be adjusted through a broader range. The car runs on BFGoodrich's new low-energy cross-country rally tires and OZ aluminum alloy wheels. The vented 16-inch brake discs are coupled with six-piston Brembo calipers.

SPECIFICATIONS: RACING LANCER
OVERALL LENGTH 4475mm
OVERALL WIDTH 1990mm
WHEEL BASE 2900mm
FRONT TRACK 1750mm
REAR TRACK 1750mm
OVERALL WEIGHT 1900kg

ENGINE Turbo-diesel V6, 24 valves with dry-sump lubrication
FUEL SYSTEM Common-rail high pressure injection
DISPLACEMENT 2997cc
MAXIMUM OUTPUT 206kw (280 PS), 650Nm (66.3 kgfm)
FUEL TANK CAPACITY 460L
TRANSMISSION Five -speed ‘Ricardo’-type sequential shift manual gearbox
4WD SYSTEM Permanent mechanical center diff lock
FRONT DIFF ‘Ricardo’ self-locking
REAR DIFF ‘Ricardo’ self-locking

SUSPENSION - FRONT Independent, double wishbones, coil spring
SUSPENSION - REAR Independent, double wishbones, coil spring and anti-roll bar system
DAMPERS Fully-adjustable BOS dampers
STEERING Power-assisted rack & pinion
WHEEL STROKE 250 mm front and rear
BRAKES 'BREMBO' Front and rear Ventilated discs with 6-piston calipers
WHEELS 'OZ' aluminum
TYRES BF Goodrich
OTHER Aeronautic steel multi-tubular frame, honeycomb body floor and carbon fiber body


TEAM SUPPORT CAR: PAJERO/MONTERO SPORT
Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart will have 15 support vehicles on the event, namely seven trucks, five Pajero/Monteros, one Outlander and two Pajero/Montero Sport. The 2009 Dakar marks the Pajero/Montero Sport's debut on this event. The model is powered by a 3.2 litre diesel engine featuring common-rail direct injection. Both cars have also been equipped with additional safety equipment, including a roll cage, as well as OMP bucket seats, BOS dampers, BFGoodrich tires, a spare 120-litre fuel tank and various guards to provide extra protection in the extreme conditions. The team's fleet in South America also includes the similarly-prepared Outlander which had been scheduled to serve as support vehicle on the 2008 Dakar. The Outlander features 'green plastic' for the inner door panel trimming and driver's seat upholstery. The mission of the support vehicles is to provide technical back-up for the competing cars and to carry spares, tools and equipment.
MITSUBISHI DISTRIBUTOR AND RALLIART SUPPORTED SATELLITE TEAM
MMC Automotores do Brasil Ltda. backed 07 Dakar winning Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR13 will be driven by Guilherme SPINELLI/ Mardelo VIVOLO, Ralliart Italy supported T-2 based Pajero/Montero will participate with Massimo BIASION/Rudy BRIANI and Team Ralliart Thailand will once again contest the Dakar Rally and Mana PORNSIRICHERD/Thierry LACAMBRE will drive Pajero/Montero Sport.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Evo X wins Dave TV's "Sports car of the Year"

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Monday, 17 November 2008

LANCER EVOLUTION X WINS ‘SPORTS CAR OF THE YEAR 2008’

*Public vote sees Evolution X take the crown against some stiff, and expensive competition
*New looks, power and value are a big hit with Dave judges and viewers

Sports Car of the Year 2008
This year’s ‘Car of the Year’ final on Dave TV announced that Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution X has won the Sports category ‘Car of the Year’. The new car was up against some very tough – and in some cases very expensive - competition, including the new VW Scirocco and the Porsche 911.

Awesome power
In a public vote the Evo X won out with its sophisticated, yet menacing looks, and all the power and handling to back up its rally-bred credentials. The panel of judges, including Mike Rutherford, Alistair Weaver, Ben Oliver and Nick Gibbs found that the car had “awesome amounts of power” and that the new Twin Clutch SST gearbox was excellent.

The viewing public seemed to agree as well, voting the Mitsubishi muscle car into top slot ahead of all its rivals.

Friday, November 7, 2008

2009 Mitsubishi Outlander [US] is IIHS "Top Safety Pick"

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2009 Mitsubishi Outlander Arrives in Dealers Sporting an Important Safety Award and Valuable Refinements
October 30, 2008 -- Cypress, Calif. --
After receiving a complete redesign this year, the 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander now sports a "Top Safety Pick" award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and several refinements designed to make it even easier for consumers to select an Outlander as their next vehicle. The 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander is now arriving in dealerships nationwide.

Earlier this year, the IIHS put the Outlander through its comprehensive battery of front, side and rear crash tests and found it worthy of its highest rating in each category. It was one of only four CUVs in its class to reach the IIHS' highest level.

"The Outlander's right-sized blend of car, sport and utility is true to the ideal of a CUV," said Mitsubishi Motors North America Executive Vice President Dan Kuhnert. "Anchored by the positive IIHS results and great efficiency, it makes a balanced choice among crossover utility vehicles."

Several important changes to the mix of standard and optional equipment highlight the sporty yet practical 2009 Outlander:

* Three-row seating is now available on the four-cylinder Special Edition (SE) models (it remains standard on the V6 XLS model).
* XLS models now share interior upgrades with SE models, including Sport fabric seats with leather bolsters.
* A new rear-view camera is included in the navigation system on XLS models.
* There's an additional 10 GB of storage on the navigation system's digital music server, for a total of 40 GB.
* The comprehensive Convenience Package is now standard on the ES 4WD model.
* Rain-sensing wipers with new flat-type aero blades and automatic on/off headlamp control are now included in the Luxury Package on XLS models.
* The Outlander XLS is newly distinguished by chrome-plated door handles and chrome grille and side sill accents.

The Outlander continues to offer a choice of a 168 hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with Sportronic® continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a 220 hp, 3.0-liter V6 engine with Sportronic® six-speed automatic transmission with magnesium paddle shifters. Both engines employ the Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and lift Electronic Control (MIVEC) technology that helps optimize power and efficiency. Both engine/transmission combinations are available with either front-wheel drive or an electronically-controlled full time four-wheel drive system known as All-Wheel Control (AWC).

Four-wheel independent suspension and innovations, such as an aluminum roof panel that lowers the center of gravity, contribute to the Outlander's competent balance of sporty handling and comfortable ride. Standard Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC) and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) provide extra driving confidence.

The new-for-2008 body design continues to give Outlander a sporty and solid character, with strong fender flares that communicate a stable, muscular stance. Inside, the Outlander reveals its practical side, with a roomy cabin sporting a hefty maximum cargo volume of 72.6 cu. ft.

To help make easy work of all that cargo space, the Outlander comes standard with a flap-fold tailgate. The upper portion of the two-piece gate opens upward to allow lighter items into the cargo area, while the lower part folds down effortlessly to offer a classic tailgate with a low (24-inch) load height. The tailgate transitions to a flat cargo floor, making it supremely easy to load bulky objects. Tailgate parties are optional.

Key standard features on Outlander include the FAST Key (Freehand Advanced Security Transmitter) keyless entry system that allows passive vehicle unlocking and engine start/stop by carrying the remote control; air conditioning; AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3 playback capability and six speakers; cruise control and power windows and door locks.

All Outlanders have a comprehensive passive safety package that includes dual-stage front air bag SRS with front passenger occupant sensors, front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and curtain side air bags.

The Outlander comes in four trim levels: Four-cylinder ES or SE and six-cylinder LS or XLS, each with differing levels of equipment. Several option packages are available: 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate Premium audio system, Sirius Satellite Radio, Bluetooth® hands-free telephone interface, navigation system, xenon HID headlamps and leather seating surfaces.

All Outlanders come with a fully transferable five-year/60,000 mile "bumper-to-bumper" new vehicle limited warranty, plus a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty and a seven-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion perforation limited warranty. All Mitsubishis also come with five-year unlimited mile roadside assistance benefits.

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at $20,925 for the Outlander ES two-wheel drive four-cylinder and $24,925 for the LS two-wheel drive V6.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hirvonen wins Japan but Loeb wins overall championship

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Hirvonen wins Rally Japan but Loeb secures the Championship


Mikko Hirvonen completed the short final stage in Sapporo this afternoon to take victory on Rally Japan, while third place for Sebastien Loeb was enough to secure him the 2008 WRC drivers’ title.

Hirvonen crossed the finish line with a winning margin of 31.1sec but even the best possible result this weekend wasn’t enough to prevent Loeb sealing the series. However the Finn was quick to pay tribute to his rival at the end of the stage: “That’s it, it’s over. But okay, he won 10 events before coming here so he deserves it. I did all I could. Now we need to try again next year.”

After their heart-stopping spin on the penultimate stage, Loeb and his co-driver Daniel Elena climbed onto the roof of their C4 at the finish control, waving a French flag in celebration. “It’s incredible!” said Loeb. “But that was a terrible rally - it couldn’t have been trickier! It’s a great moment. It’s perfect. I’m so relieved this weekend is over now. Last year Daniel and I equalled the record with four wins, so being the only ones to do five we are very happy!”

Jari-Matti Latvala finished second, helping Ford to a maximum 18 point haul in the manufacturers’ championship, and ensuring the battle would go to the final round in Wales. “It’s very good for the team and very good for me,” he said. “After such a bad time in August I can be happy. There was a time when our good result in Turkey seemed a long way away, but now I can be happy again.”

Chris Atkinson finished fourth in his Subaru World Rally Team Impreza WRC2008, while the Suzuki World Rally Team celebrated its best ever result with sixth and seventh. “It’s been fantastic,” said P-G Andersson, who was sixth. We made a great start but after losing the tyre yesterday I though that was it - but we got ourselves together and pushed hard again today.” Toni Gardemeister said: “I’m really happy this rally is over - it’s not so nice at all! But it was a good result for our team for sure.”

Matthew Wilson brought his Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Focus to the finish in seventh place, while Subaru driver Petter Solberg was eighth, the last points winning place.

-WRC

Monday, November 3, 2008

Racing Lancer takes first win at 08 Baja Portalegre

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FIA INTERNATIONAL CUP FOR CROSS COUNTRY BAJAS
BAJA PORTALEGRE 500
02 NOVEMBER 2008
DAY 3

NERPOR - NERPOR (Portugal):
Road section: 0.10km - Service (10 minutes) - Road section: 28.33km
SS4: 110.00km
Road section: 5.86km - Rally finish
Total distance: 144.29km

VICTORY FOR RACING LANCER OF TEAM REPSOL MITSUBISHI RALLIART ON ITS FIRST EVENT

MITSUBISHI RACING LANCER'S FIRST VICTORY

A polished performance from Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (France) and everyone at Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart on this weekend's Baja Portalegre 500 has taken the brand new Racing Lancer to its first victory, straight from the box. Mitsubishi's latest cross-country rally car, which will take over from the successful Pajero/Montero Evolution on next January's Dakar, ran perfectly reliably throughout the three-day Portuguese event to win by the margin of 4 minutes 3 seconds after 515.16km of stages.

What counted possibly more than the final result, however, is the fact that the team was able to profit from the final round of the 2008 FIA Cup for Cross-Country Bajas to validate recent development work on the new car in the specific conditions of the fast, twisty mountain tracks near Portalegre.

The Racing Lancer also covered some 5,000km in southern Morocco shortly before the start of this weekend's competition and Team Director Dominique Serieys (France) is particularly pleased with the outcome of this solid, long-term groundwork: "Today's result rounds off another successful season for Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart which ends 2008 with three wins and two second places to its name. Everyone has done a tremendous job ths year. That includes the stafat MMSP, the people at MMC who look after the engines and, of course, our four crews. It was Stéphane who took the spoils today, but Nani Roma (Spain), Luc Alphand (France) and Hiroshi Masuoka (Japan) have all played vital roles, too."

This weekend saw Stéphane Peterhansel and his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret recover from a harmless spin on Friday's super-special and a puncture on Saturday morning's SS2 to pull more than four minutes clear at the top of the leaderboard by the end of Day 2. A quick, yet safe pace then enabled the French pair to come through this morning's drier but equally tricky 110km stage to kick off the Racing Lancer's competition career on a high note. "After more than a year of hard work to make the Racing Lancer as competitive as it is today, it is a fitting reward for everyone in the team to have kicked off the new car's scorecard with a victory here in Portugal," observed the French driver. "It was an honour for me to be chosen by Mitsubishi to give the Racing Lancer its first outing, and it's nice to have succeeded in paying back that confidence with a win."

Having steered the petrol-powered Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR13 to victory on September's PAX Rally, which visited the same part of Portugal as this weekend's Baja, Stéphane Peterhansel is ideally qualified to compare the performance of the Racing Lancer with that of its predecessor. "I was especially impressed by two things over the past three days," he reported. "The first concerns the engine: the new 3-litre V6 marks a big improvement in all areas, but it is especially strong out of the slower turns. You can feel the torque and acceleration of the turbo-diesel powerplant pull you through the corner and give you the speed for the next straight� The car's other main strength is its chassis. An event like the Portuguese Baja calls for a specific configuration and we essentially defined a basic set-up for the weekend by extrapolating from what we learned in Morocco. Those settings worked extremely well, and I was pleasantly surprised by the ability of the suspension to soak up the terrain, as well as by the front-end's directional precision."

"Although this event was short, the conditions turned out to be quite varied, and that was obviously positive for our mission here in Portugal," added co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret. "The terrain was essentially twisty, but quite fast and very delicate, too, so we were able to establish some good benchmarks. We also succeeded in keeping to the initial game-plan to win with a big enough margin to cover a possible puncture on the final day."

Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart will remain in Portugal after the Baja Portalegre 500 for a little further testing before spending time in Spain, for engine calibration work at high altitude. With the 2009 Dakar fast approaching, the car which contested this weekend's event will continue to be used for testing duty, while the official shakedown of the four cars currently under construction for the rally itself will take place in France (Le Creusot), on December 15, before their transport to South America by plane five days later.

FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Cat Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
Stephane Peterhansel
Jean-Paul Cottret
F
F
MITSUBISHI RACING LANCER T1.2 6:11:48 **:**:**.*
2
Filipe Campos
Jaime Baptista
P
P
BMW X3 T1.2 6:15:51 4:03
3
Miguel Barbosa
Luis Ramalho
P
P
BMW X3 T1.2 6:22:25 10:37
4
Tonnie Van Deijne
Wouter Van Deijne
NL
NL
MITSUBISHI L200 EVO T1.1 6:35:50 24:02
5
Pedro Grancha
Paulo Primaz
P
P
NISSAN NAVARA OFF ROAD T1.1 6:37:06 25:18
6
Ricardo Leal dos Santos
Joao Luz
P
P
BMW X5 T1.2 6:38:39 26:51
7
Miroslav Zapletal
Tomas Ourednicek
CZ
NL
MITSUBISHI L200 T1.1 6:40:44 28:56
8
Joao Ramos
Jesus Vitor
P
P
TOYOTA RAV 4 T1.2 6:47:52 36:04



Juho Hanninen wins P-WRC battle in Rally Japan

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FIA PRODUCTION CAR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
RALLY JAPAN
2 November 2008
DAY 3

MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION DRIVERS DELIVER PERFECT RESULT ON RALLY JAPAN
All-Mitsubishi battle between Juho Hanninen and Andreas Aigner for FIA Production Car World Rally Championship on final round


JUHO HANNINEN / MIKKO MARKKULA

At the end of three exceptionally tricky days of rallying on the mountain roads around Sapporo, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution drivers filled eight of the top 10 Group N positions on Rally Japan. Juho Hanninen (Finland) won the event and now takes a commanding lead into the final round of the FIA Production Car World Rally Championsip in Wales next month.

Hanninen admitted he hadn’t been pushing for the win, through the final day’s nine stages east of the rally’s base at the Sapporo Dome, but when leader Evgeny Novikov (Russia) slowed in the final two tests, Hanninen moved to the front to clinch his third maximum P-WRC point score of the season.

The success of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution on Rally Japan is the 15th straight victory in the Group N category of the World Rally Championship. And this latest win came before tens of thousands of cheering and adoring rally fans from the home of the Lancer Evolution, Japan.

The final day had been far from a straightforward affair for any of the world’s fastest drivers, with torrential rain making the stages incredibly slippery this morning.

Hanninen now needs to finish fifth or higher in the P-WRC on December’s Wales Rally Great Britain to clinch his first world title. It’s hardly surprising the Finn is looking forward to his next event.

“This rally started badly for me, but then got better and better,” said the winner. “Today was tough, though. The rain in SS23 - Sikot – was just incredible. The water was so deep in the roads that the car was aquaplaning a lot. It wasn’t nice to drive in these conditions, you just had to come through. Luckily, we were in a good position and we didn’t need to take the risk. We pushed harder in the final stage, when it looked like we could be in a position for taking the win. Now it’s all down to the final round. The rain has given us some good preparation for the last rally in Wales. That’s an event I really like, now I just need to get the right result. The car has been perfect here, no problem at all.”


EVGENY NOVIKOV / DIMITRY CHUMAK

Novikov was naturally disappointed at missing out on his first P-WRC win, but second place remains a strong result for the 18-year-old. Behind the Russian teenage sensation, Eyvind Brynildsen (Norway) collected fourth place after a trouble-free final day in his Lancer Evolution and it was a similar story for Mirco Baldacdi (San Marino) in sixth. The good news for Mitsubishi fans was the P-WRC debut of the Lancer Evolution X. Both cars entered in the P-WRC category of Rally Japan finished and collected points on their first time out – an incredible achievement for a brand new car at this level of rallying.

Home heroes Katsuhiko Taguchi (Japan) was seventh and Fumio Nutahara (Japan) eighth in their respective Lancer Evolution Xs. Nutahara, a seasoned P-WRC campaigner, said: “This is a very good car. We have had a good rally. Okay, we have the puncture which is not so good, but driving the new Lancer has been very nice. It’s a strong car.”

Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala (both Finland) finished one-two for Ford in the overall standings, but it was Citroen and Sebastien Loeb (France) who did most celebrating in Japan, with Loeb collecting his fifth consecutive drivers’ title.

The next and final round of the P-WRC and WRC is Wales Rally Great Britain (December 4-7).

FIA PWRC CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Juho HANNINEN
Mikko MARKKULA
FIN
FIN
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO IX N
1
3:43:30.4 **:**:**.*
2 Evgeny NOVIKOV
Dale MOSCATT
RUS
AUS
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO IX N
2
3:43:36.7 6.3
3 Toshi ARAI
Glenn MACNEALL
J
AUS
SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STi N
3
3:43:39.6 9.2
4 Eyvind BRYNILDSEN
Mathieu GIRAUDET
N
F
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO IX N
4
3:47:18.2 3:47.8
5 Takuma KAMADA
Naoki KASE
J
J
SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STi N
5
3:47:53.5 4:23.1
6 Mirco BALDACCI
Giovanni AGNESE
RSM
I
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO IX N
6
3:50:11.0 6:40.6
7 Katsuhiko TAGUCHI
Mark STACEY
J
AUS
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO X N
7
3:51:25.1 7:54.7
8 Fumio NUTAHARA
Hakaru ICHINO
J
J
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO X N
9
3:58:39.3 15:08.9