MMSP outlines 2004 Cross Country Rally Programme

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News

2004 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup

For immediate release
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004


Peterhansel, Masuoka and Mayer confirmed with MMSP Team;
MMSP's factory team prepares for Tunisia, Morocco and Dubai rallies;
Portugal's Carlos Sousa to contest FIA European Baja series;

TREBUR (Germany): Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports (MMSP) has announced its competition programme for the 2004 Cross-Country Rally World Cup, which gets underway with the Optic 2000 Rally of Tunisia on April 3rd-12th.

The official MMSP factory team will field a pair of Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolutions on the seven-day event in Tunisia, arguably the most difficult round of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup. The event starts in Nice on the French Riviera on Sunday, April 4th and finishes at Tozeur in Southern Tunisia on Monday, April 12th.

Recent Dakar Rally winners Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret have additional support from French sponsor ATS. They will be joined by Japanese twice former Dakar champion Hiroshi Masuoka and his experienced French co-driver Gilles Picard who are supported by Mitsubishi Motors dealership team. Masuoka and Picard finished second overall in the recent Dakar Rally.

MMSP plans that drivers Peterhansel and Andrea Mayer (German lady-driver) will tackle the five-day Rally of Morocco at the start of June.

Peterhansel and Mayer will then enter the UAE Desert Challenge, the final round of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup, in mid-October and the last rally before the legendary Dakar starts.

~It depends how strong the competition is. We will consider our options and decide how many cars/drivers to enter in the other rallies~ said Head of Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports, Sven Quandt.

Portugal's Carlos Sousa and his Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne will drive a MMSP prepared Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution on all of the five rounds of the FIA European Baja Cup for Drivers, with support from Mitsubishi Portugal and Portuguese companies GALP, TMN and BPN.

The reigning FIA World Cup champions will begin their challenge for honours on the Baja Vodafone 1000 in Portugal in May, following the cancellation of the scheduled opening round of the series in Italy earlier this month.

Sousa will then compete in the remaining four rounds of the European Baja series in Spain, Italy, Greece and a second event in his native Portugal in October.

~This is an exciting step forward for Carlos,~ said MMSP SAS Team Director, Dominique Serieys. ~The Baja Vodafone in Portugal will mark Sousa's first entry in an event as a full factory Mitsubishi driver. It is fitting that Carlos will drive the car for the first time in his home event. He will use the full specification Pajero/Montero Evolution which Hiroshi Masuoka drove on the Dakar Rally in January. His entry shows Mitsubishi's commitment to the European Baja Cup this season.~


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Date issued: 23/03/2004

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