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Sousa looks to extend FIA European Baja Cup lead in Italy

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News

2004 FIA European Baja Cup for Drivers
3rd Monte Pennino Cross-Country Rally, round 2 (Baja Italy - cancelled)

For immediate release
Monday, June 21st, 2004

SOUSA AND MAGNE LOOK TO EXTEND MITSUBISHI MOTORS MOTOR SPORTS TEAM‘S ADVANTAGE IN FIA EUROPEAN BAJA CUP FOR DRIVERS

- Portuguese star heads entry in Baja dell’Umbria event
- Third outing for Sousa in Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution

TREBUR (Germany): Defending FIA World Cup champion Carlos Sousa and his Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne head to Perugia in Italy this weekend (June 25th-27th) to take part in the 3rd Monte Pennino Cross-Country Rally, the second round of the 2004 FIA European Baja Cup for Drivers.

Sousa, from Portugal, is tackling each round of the European Baja series this season in a Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution, prepared by the MMSP factory team at Pont-de-Vaux in France.

He currently leads the championship after winning the Evora-based Baja Portugal last month and heads to Italy fresh from taking third position in the recent Orpi Rally of Morocco – his second ever drive in the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution. The Portuguese event was the opening round of the six-round series following the cancellation of the Baja Italy back in March.

~Henri and I are looking forward to the event immensely,~ said Sousa. ~I am getting used to driving the Evolution more and more and the Morocco Rally was great experience for me over a difficult route in very high temperatures. That will not be a problem in Italy, but I will need to settle into a pace which is competitive over short stages where dust is sure to be a problem if you catch a slower car.~

~Carlos showed in Morocco recently that he is improving all the time and has the pace to win rallies,~ said MMSP’s Team Director Dominique Serieys. ~He has made a great start to his program of European Baja rallies. This will be a new event for him and the stages will be short and technical.~

Sousa faces competition in Italy from a host of Italy’s leading off-road drivers - on the event which is also a round of the Italian Baja series - and the former French World Downhill Skiing Champion Luc Alphand in a BMW X5 Rally-Raid. Alphand won both the Spanish and German Bajas last season and has set fastest times on the world-renowned Dakar Rally in his diesel-engined car.

The event is based around the Autodromo Magiore, near Perugia, and runs over a two-day route totalling 691.71 kms. After documentation and scrutineering on Friday afternoon at the Autodromo, the competitive action gets underway at 08.00 hrs on Saturday morning with the first of four selective sections over a 61.07 kms stage in a rural hilly region between Florence and Rome.

Sunday’s competitive route offers a further three selective sections along a 56.04 kms track between Magione and Piazza Matteotti, before the finish is scheduled in Perugia at 16.30 hrs.

Ends

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Date issued: 22/06/2004

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