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Peterhansel a cautious leader through Burkina Faso

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News

2004 Telefonica Dakar Rally
Leg 12: Bobo Dioulasso - Bamako (88 kms liaison, 213 kms special, 365 kms liaison)

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004

Weather conditions: hot and sunny - (+28 to +35 C)

PETERHANSEL AND MASUOKA CONTINUE TO LEAD
DAKAR RALLY FOR MITSUBISHI MOTORS TEAM

Mitsubishi leading duo third and fourth today;
Germany lady Mayer 10th through short stage; 5 Mitsubishis inside top 10

BAMAKO (Mali): Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports (MMSP) team drivers Stephane Peterhansel and Hiroshi Masuoka took no risks on today's 213 kms special stage of the 2004 Telefonica Dakar Rally between Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso and Bamako, the capital of the Republic of Mali.

The pair continue to hold first and second positions in the overall standings, with Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret now 2h 18m 16s ahead of their nearest non-Mitsubishi rival, third-placed Frenchman Jean-Louis Schlesser in his Buggy.

~It was a short stage and our first competitive section against the clock in Black Africa,~ said Peterhansel. ~There was a lot of dust and it was easy to crash the car. There was a small bridge with a tight wall and if you didn't see it, there was a chance you could have a problem. We drove slowly through the villages. With the new rule you only drive at 30 km/h for safety reasons and this is very good. The problem is knowing where the radar zone starts. We always slow down a little before the village to be on the safe side.~

Second-placed Masuoka was content with his performance: ~It was an easy stage today if you took no risks,~ said the defending champion. ~There were a lot of villages and we had to watch our speed. Some of the sections were very narrow and bumpy and you had to be careful.~

Germany's Andrea Mayer and co-driver Andreas Schulz continued to run as a support vehicle for their team mates and finished the short stage in 10th position in their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero.

~About 70 kms from the finish we stopped and let Nasser Al-Attiyah pass,~ said Mayer. ~We have to think about the rest of the week and look after our position. It was a traditional African stage with a lot of dust and elements of danger in the forests with the broken tracks. It was a nice stage to get back into the rhythm and we are running behind Stephane and Hiroshi tomorrow, which was the plan.~

~I am quite happy with the result today,~ said Sven Quandt, MMSP's Head of Motorsport. ~Our drivers took no risks and we are in a good position for the longer stage on Wednesday.~

The Dakar resumed its relentless course today after three days with no active competition. An 88 kms liaison took teams from the hustle and bustle of Bobo-Dioulasso into a 213 kms stage between Banfora and Sikasso.

The WRC-type stage passed along twisty open laterite tracks and through the lush Banfora forest. A 365 kms liaison crossed the border into the Republic of Mali and took teams into the bivouac in Bamako, the Malian capital situated on the banks of the Niger River.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is one of the most difficult days of the rally between Bamako and the bivouac at Ayoun El Atrous in Mauritania. An asphalt 230 kms liaison steers crews due north towards the Sahara and a return to the perils of Mauritania and a varied 478 kms special stage. A short 26 kms liaison takes teams into the bivouac.

Positions in Bamako after leg 12:
1. Stephane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 30h 16m 53s
2. Hiroshi Masuoka (J)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 31h 21m 36s
3. Jean-Louis Schlesser (F)/Jean-Marie Lurquin (F) Schlesser-Ford 32h 35m 09s
4. Luc Alphand (F)/Henri Magne (F) BMW X5 Raid 34h 10m 51s
5. Gregoire de Mevius (B)/Alain Guehennec (F) BMW X5 Raid 34h 32m 23s
6. Andrea Mayer (D)/Andreas Schulz (D) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 35h 13m 07s
7. Bruno Saby (F)/Matthew Stevenson (GB) Volkswagen Touareg 35h 37m 49s
8. Thierry Magnaldi (F)/Didier Legal (F) Honda 36h 50m 39s
9. Klever Kolberg (BR)/Roldan Lourival (BR) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 37h 08m 22s
10. Dominique Housieaux (F)/Loic Fagot (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 37h 39m 12s

Positions on Bobo-Dioulasso to Bamako stage (Leg 12):
1. Luc Alphand (F)/Henri Magne (F) BMW X5 Raid 1h 54m 53s
2. Jean-Louis Schlesser (F)/Jean-Marie Lurquin (F) Schlesser-Ford 1h 56m 21s
3. Stephane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2h 00m 33s
4. Hiroshi Masuoka (J)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2h 01m 16s
5. Bruno Saby (F)/Matthew Stevenson (GB) Volkswagen Touareg 2h 01m 34s
6. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Touareg 2h 03m 27s
7. Thierry Magnaldi (F)/Didier Legal (F) Honda 2h 03m 41s
8. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA)/Marc Bartholome (B) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 2h 03m 42s
9. Klever Kolberg (BR)/Roldan Lourival (BR) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 2h 05m 27s
10. Andrea Mayer (D)/Andreas Schulz (D) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 2h 06m 23s


RALLIART TEAMS

KOLBERG LEADS THE WAY
FOR MITSUBISHI RALLIART

China's Ding back on track; Sore neck for 8th-placed Qatar's Al-Attiyah

Brazilian Klever Kolberg led the six surviving Mitsubishi Ralliart customer teams into the 12th section of the Dakar Rally between Bobo-Dioulasso and Bamako this morning in ninth place overall. He finished in a similar position on the stage.

~It was a rest day for us yesterday, but a busy time for the mechanics,~ said Kolberg. They stripped each of the cars and replaced the gearboxes, the suspension, the dampers, the brakes and gave all six vehicle a thorough checkover.~

French team mate Dominique Housieux heads into the final five stages of the Dakar in 10th position and Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah recovered from his five-hour delay into Atar to hold 12th place. They were 14th and eighth through today's stage. There are now five Mitsubishis inside the overall top 10.

~I have been suffering a little with a sore neck on the last couple of days, as a result of the accident in the dunes on the way into Atar,~ said Al-Attiyah. ~I went to see Patrice Morel, the factory team doctor, and he advised me to wear a neck brace for a couple of days. But it's nothing serious, just a stiffening of the muscles after the accident.~

Poland Lukasz Komornicki and Thailand's Siriwat Pornsawan were well-placed, but it was a major relief for Team Mitsubishi Ralliart China's Luo Ding just to reach the rest halt.

~We have been playing catch-up for several days,~ said Ding. ~We have been arriving very late into the bivouac, just as the leading cars have been leaving to start the stage. We were getting lonely in the desert. It is great to see the rest of the team again.~

Ding started this morning in 66th position overall. Pornsawan, meanwhile, finished today's stage in 16th position, four places ahead of Pole Lukasz Komornicki.

Mitsubishi Ralliart customer teams - overall positions in Bamako (15.25 hrs GMT):
9. Klever Kolberg (BR)/Roldan Lourival (BR) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 37h 08m 22s
10. Dominique Housieaux (F)/Loic Fagot (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 37h 39m 12s
11. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA)/Marc Bartholome (B) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 38h 21m 44s
16. Siriwat Pornsawan (TH)/Phillipe Bocande (F) Mitsubishi L200 Strada 44h 44m 14s
20. Lukasz Komornicki (PL)/Rafal Marton (PL) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 47h 10m 21s
68. Luo Ding (CHN)/Serge Henninot (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 72h 04m 45s

Ends

For further information, please contact:
Mitsubishi Motor Sports, MMSP, E-mail: info@mitsubishi-motor-sports.com
.
Copyright free photographs can be downloaded from:-
www.mitsubishi-motors.com or www.mmsp-media.com




Date issued: 13/01/2004

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