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CC Sousa aims to confirm European Baja Cup for MMSP

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News

2004 FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas
18th Baja Anta Da Serra 500, round 5 (rounds 1 and 4 cancelled)

For immediate release
Tuesday, October 19th, 2004

SOUSA AIMS TO CONFIRM EUROPEAN BAJA CUP FOR MITSUBISHI MOTORS MOTOR SPORTS ON HOME SOIL

MMSP look to complete a clean sweep of European Baja rallies;
Portuguese driver to tackle event in Mitsubishi L200 Pick-Up

PORTALEGRE (Portugal): Portugal's Carlos Sousa and Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne will be aiming to confirm victory in the 2004 European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas for the Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports team, when they tackle the final round of the six-event series, the 18th Baja Anta Da Serra 500, in Portugal this weekend (October 22-24th).

Lisbon-based Sousa has maximum points in this yearís series, courtesy of a hat-trick of wins in the Baja Italy, Pennino Rally and Baja Spain rounds of the championship, and the reigning FIA World Cup champion is certain to lift the coveted FIA European Baja title for the first time this weekend. Two other events in Italy and Greece were cancelled earlier in the season.

After taking victories on the opening three rounds in a Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports-prepared Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution, Sousa arrives in the Portuguese town of Portalegre at the wheel of a Mitsubishi L200 Pick-Up, which runs with additional support from Mitsubishi Portugal and Portuguese companies Galp, TMN and BPN.

~Carlos has done everything we have asked of him this season,~ said MMSPís Team Director Dominique Serieys. ~With the exception of Morocco, where he had some small problems, he has won every event he has tackled this year and that is a great achievement for him and for the team. It would be a fitting end to the season for him to win the second Baja event in Portugal.~

Over 300 entries in the car and motorcycle categories have been received for this weekend's three-day Baja event, but Sousa faces fierce competition from the 1995 FIA World Rally Champion Colin McRae, who is set to debut the latest version of Nissan's new Pick-Up in preparation for January's Dakar Rally.

Sousa is seeded at two behind fellow countryman Miguel Barbosa and co-driver Miguel Ramalho in a Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero, which also has support from Mitsubishi Portugal, Galp and TMN. Other rivals likely to challenge for the podium include Rui Costa (Nissan), Luis Costa (Toyota), Marco Tempestini (Nissan) and Filipe Campos (Toyota).

The event is also a round of the Portuguese and Spainish Off-Road Championships and offers three selective sections across remote farmland and narrow rural tracks.

After documentation and technical scrutineering at the Nerpor Central Pavilion in Portalegre on Thursday, October 21st, the Prologue to determine the starting order takes place on Friday afternoon. Two selective sections, totalling around 400 kms, are scheduled for Saturday, with a third 100 kms stage and the prizegiving ceremony taking place on Sunday, October 24th.

2004 FIA European Cup for Cross-Country Bajas Ė after three rounds:

1. Carlos Sousa (P) 54 pts
2. Khalifa Al-Motaiwi (UAE) 22 pts
3. Marco Tempestini (I) 12 pts
4. Luc Alphand (F) 11 pts
5. Luis Pereira Costa (P) 7 pts
5. Josť-Luis Monterde (E) 7 pts

Ends

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Date issued: 19/10/2004

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