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Peterhansel leads MMSP challenge in Morocco

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News

2004 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup
Orpi Rally of Morocco, round 3

For immediate release
Saturday, May 29th, 2004

PETERHANSEL HEADS MITSUBISHI MOTORS
MOTOR SPORTS CHALLENGE IN MOROCCO

- Mayer and Sousa join Peterhansel in North African challenge
- Housieaux and Monterde enter Ralliart Pajeros/Monteros

TREBUR (Germany): Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret head Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports‘ three-car challenge for honours in the Orpi Rally of Morocco, the third round of the 2004 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup, which starts in Agadir on Wednesday, June 2nd.

The five-day event is viewed as the most varied round of the series in terms of the stages and type of terrain and Peterhansel – the winner of April’s seven-day Rally of Tunisia – will drive the first of two MMSP-run Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolutions.

~Morocco is one of my favourite rallies,~ said Peterhansel. ~The stages are difficult and this is a great opportunity for us to test and develop the new car. This year the route has moved further south and some of the terrain will be very similar to what we may expect on the 2005 Dakar.~

Germany's Andrea Mayer and her experienced co-driver Andreas Schulz make their second competitive appearance of the season and are entered in a Mitsubishi L200 Pick-Up. Their last outing for the MMSP team resulted in an excellent fifth overall in the Dakar Rally in a Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero.

The Portuguese defending FIA World Cup champion Carlos Sousa and his Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne drive the second Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution and complete the team line-up.

~We have made a good start to the new season with Stéphane winning in Tunisia and Carlos taking the lead in the Baja Cup by winning in Portugal,~ said MMSP’s Team Director Dominique Serieys.

~Carlos drove in a very professional manner in Portugal and the team was impressed by the way he quickly adapted to driving the new Evolution for the first time. Because the opening round of the European Baja series for Drivers in Italy was cancelled back in March, we decided to nominate Carlos as our third driver in Morocco.~

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports will continue to develop the Pajero/Montero Evolution during the Orpi Rally of Morocco, before returning to Morocco later in the summer to carry out extensive tests in preparation for October’s UAE Desert Challenge and the team’s bid for a fifth successive Dakar title in January 2005.

~We made a team decision to enter three cars in Morocco,~ said Sven Quandt, President and Head of Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports. ~This will strengthen our challenge for success and also give Carlos another opportunity to gain more experience behind the wheel of the new Evolution.~

This year’s Rally of Morocco has moved its starting venue from Erfoud in the north-east to Agadir in the south. The organising Neveu-Pelletier Organisation have laid on five timed stages, with competitive action beginning from Agadir on Wednesday, June 2nd. The final stage finishes in Agadir on Sunday, June 6th.

Ralliart Teams

- Housieaux and Monterde enter Ralliart Pajeros/Monteros

Frenchman Dominique Housieaux and his 2004 Dakar co-driver Loic Fagot will be reunited for the Orpi Rally of Morocco. They will take part in a 3.5-litre, V6 petrol-engined Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero, prepared by Ralliart in Trebur-Astheim.

Their team mates will be Jose-Luis Monterde and Rafael Tornabell. The Spaniards are entered in a diesel-engined Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero.

Housieaux and Fagot finished 13th overall in January’s Dakar Rally and had been running as high as eighth position. Housieaux finished sixth in Tunisia in April with Belgian co-driver Jean-Marie Lurquin, but Frenchman Fagot returns to competitive duties for the Moroccan challenge.

Monterde and Tornabell have tackled numerous rallies together and began this season’s FIA World Cup campaign with an excellent fourth overall in the Rally of Tunisia.

~This will be a difficult rally for both of our drivers,~ said Ralliart Team Manager Jürgen Masal. ~The temperatures are likely to be very high in this part of Morocco in June and the stages will be very rocky and hard on the cars.~

Ends

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Date issued: 29/05/2004

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