1













Peterhansel extends Morocco Rally lead into Laayoune

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News

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

Leg 3: Smara – Laayoune (5 kms transfer - 155 kms special – 56 kms liaison – 100 kms special – 22 kms liaison)

For immediate release
Friday, June 4th, 2004

Weather conditions: very windy and warm: 24-32 C

PETERHANSEL EXTENDS MITSUBISHI MOTORS MOTOR SPORT TEAM‘S ADVANTAGE INTO LAAYOUNE

- Sousa fourth and second on day’s stages; Mayer fifth in SS4
- Housieaux third fastest into Laayoune bivouac

LAAYOUNE (Morocco): Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret extended the Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports Team’s advantage in the Orpi Rally of Morocco by winning the third and fourth stages, along a route which ended near the remote fishing village of Tarouma on the blustery Atlantic coast, south of Laayoune, today (Friday).

Peterhansel, driving the first of MMSP’s two Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolutions, beat Volkswagen’s Bruno Saby by seven seconds through the 155 kms third stage from Smara to a finish near Lemseyed. The defending Dakar champion was then classified first overall, ahead of his team mate Carlos Sousa, through the shorter fourth stage. Peterhansel now leads his nearest rival by 13m 55s.

~After 30 kms on the first stage we caught (Kenjiro) Shinozuka’s dust,~ said Peterhansel. ~I used the horn and he pulled over and stopped. He is a gentleman. Then we pushed harder and drove with Jean-Louis (Schlesser) and finished the stage just before him. I didn’t want to drive too hard.

~I decided to attack on the short stage and then we touched a big rock after five kilometers and had a flat tire. Jean-Louis passed me and we drove together in the dunes. He stopped in the soft sand and we finished the stage first. Each dune was broken and it was dangerous to push too hard. But it was cooler today and much better for me, the car, Jean-Paul, the tires, everything.~

Portugal’s Sousa and his Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne completed the first special stage in fourth position, 1m 01s behind team mate Peterhansel, and in second position in SS4.

~No real problems today, except that we broke a wheel early in the second stage and had to change it,~ said Sousa. ~The dunes were difficult and I kept seeing pieces of other cars in the track and decided to slow down. Then we saw Shinozuka and the two Volkswagens stopped in the sand and I knew that I had made a good decision.

~I could have driven faster in the first stage, but the thought of hitting a rock or puncturing a tire kept going through my mind and I didn’t want to take the risk.~

The German pairing of Andrea Mayer and Andreas Schulz produced their best form of the rally so far to take the fifth fastest time through the third stage, which was held over varied terrain in the Sequiet El Hamra wadi. But they lost over 15 minutes stuck in soft sand in the fourth selective.

~We hit a rock on the first one and punctured in the same place as our team mates,~ said Schulz. ~Then we were going well into the last part of the second stage when we came across Khalifa’s (Al-Motaiwi) BMW stuck at the foot of a dune and we didn’t have the speed to get past. We lost about 15 minutes.~

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the penultimate stage of the event and features a 332 kms selective section in a route of 376 kms between Laayoune and Oued Chebika. The competitive section starts at Foum El Oued and runs close to the bivouac.

The opening 60 kms will take place on the beach, pass several shipwrecks and lead teams to the village of Amgriou. The route then heads east to an assistance point and then along the Sebkha Tah depression, 55 meters below sea level. After passing an old Spanish fort at Al Hagounia, the tracks are smoother en route to the second coastal bivouac at Oued Chebika.

Positions after leg 3 (unofficial at 13.50 hrs):
1.Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 10h 36m 26s
2. Jean-Louis Schlesser (F)/Francois Borsotto (F) Schlesser-Ford DSC12 10h 50m 21s
3. Carlos Sousa (P)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 11h 10m 44s
4. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Bobby Willis (GB) Volkswagen Touareg 11h 27m 48s
7. Andrea Mayer (D)/Andreas Schulz (D) Mitsubishi L200 Pick-Up 12h 15m 18s

Positions on SS3 (unofficial at 11.45 hrs):
1.Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 1h 47m 46s
2. Bruno Saby (F)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Touareg 1h 47m 53s
3. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Bobby Willis (GB) Volkswagen Touareg 1h 48m 29s
4. Carlos Sousa (P)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 1h 48m 47s
5. Andrea Mayer (D)/Andreas Schulz (D) Mitsubishi L200 Pick-Up 1h 50m 40s

Positions on SS4 (unofficial at 13.45 hrs):
1.Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 1h 09m 22s
2. Carlos Sousa (P)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 1h 11m 51s
3. Dominique Housieaux (F)/Loic Fagot (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 1h 11m 54s
4. Jean-Louis Schlesser (F)/Francois Borsotto (F) Schlesser-Ford DSC12 1h 12m 45s
5. José-Luis Monterde (E)/Rafel Tornabell (E) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 1h 19m 54s

Ralliart Teams

- Housieaux third fastest into Laayoune bivouac

Dominique Housieaux and his French co-driver Loic Fagot finished the third stage of the Orpi Rally of Morocco in 10th position and an excellent third place through the shorter fourth stage moved them up to fifth in the overall classification.

~Everything was going perfectly yesterday until we lost a wheel just after the final passage control,~ said Housieaux. ~It cost me a lot of time and six places on the leaderboard.

~But today was much better. We had a flat tyre early on, but I really enjoyed the dunes. The sand was fantastic and that showed in my performance.~

Their Spanish team mates José-Luis Monterde and Rafael Tornabell made up ground after Thursday’s rear suspension problems, which dropped them down to 28th position in the overall standings.

~We lost a lot of time on the stage on Thursday with rear suspension problems,~ said Monterde. ~We could not push hard at all and dropped over one hour to the leaders. It appears that there was an oil leakage to the rear dampers.

~We know our level and when the car is running perfectly we know we can push. On the first stage this morning we had another rear shock absorber problem and we changed the rear shock absorbers at service. Then the car was perfect and we set a top six fastest time on the second stage.~

Positions after leg 3 (unofficial at 13.50 hrs):
5. Dominique Housieaux (F)/Loic Fagot (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 11h 57m 01s
13. José-Luis Monterde (E)/Rafael Tornabell (E) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 13h 40m 54s

Ends

Copyright free photographs for editorial media only can be downloaded from www.mmsp-media.com and www.mitsubishi-motors.com

For further information please contact MMSP’s Communications Department:

MMSP GmbH
Adam-Opel-Str. 4
D 65468 Trebur-Astheim
Telephone +49 (0) 6147-203 596
Telefax +49 (0) 6147-203 599
E-mail info@mitsubishi-motor-sports.com







Date issued: 04/06/2004

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
Holly House, Station Road, Newport,
Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7831 123153 (UK)

Email: ndppublicity@googlemail.com

Web: www.ndp-publicity.com

Return to Top          Powered by Infotex UK