CC Tenth Dakar Rally triumph for Mitsubishi Motors
Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News
2005 Dakar Rally
Leg 16 - Dakar - Dakar
Liaison 37 kms - Special 31 kms
Weather conditions: warm and sunny, 23-25C
For immediate release
Sunday, January 16th, 2005
MITSUBISHI MOTORS REPSOL ATS STUDIOS TEAM TAKES RECORD-BREAKING FIFTH SUCCESSIVE AND 10TH DAKAR RALLY VICTORY
Mitsubishi Motors becomes most successful manufacturer in Dakar history;
First and second places for Peterhansel and Alphand in Dakar Rally;
Mitsubishi's Peterhansel wins Dakar Rally for second successive year
DAKAR, Sénegal - The Mitsubishi Motors Repsol ATS Studios Team clinched a record-breaking fifth successive and 10th overall victory in the gruelling 8,956 kms Dakar Rally at Lac Rose, near Dakar, today (Sunday).
French driver Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret won the event for a second successive year in their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution. Team mates Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard finished second overall to give Mitsubishi a convincing 1-2 on the podium.
~I was very nervous this morning,~ said Peterhansel. ~It was only a small stage, but it is never easy and anything can and sometimes does happen. This was a big victory for me. It was harder than last year. The race was difficult and the difference between myself and Luc was much smaller than my winning margin last year. That shows that it was a great race right to the end.
~I have a fantastic feeling,~ said Alphand. ~The team was perfect. I am working with the best in the world. The goal was a podium, but this is the biggest second position of my life. The work level and professionalism of everyone has been astonishing.~
~I am very proud of the hard work put in by the entire team,~ said IsaoTorii, President of MMSP. ~When I visited Atar at the half-way point I saw the appalling working conditions that the whole team had faced and it is a testament to their determination that we have achieved this superb success.~
~It is a fantastic feeling of pride and achievement for me and the entire team,~ said MMSP's Team Director Dominique Serieys. ~I felt quite emotional at the finish to see our team in first and second positions. It was a tough race, held in very difficult circumstances, and we have now achieved that magic figure of 10 wins on the Dakar and are now unbeaten on this race in the last five years.~
In the 27-year history of the world's most famous off-road rally no manufacturer of cars, bikes and trucks can match the Japanese company's winning record. Spanish team mate Joan Roma - tackling the event in a car for the first time - rounded off a successful campaign for the Mitsubishi team by taking sixth position with Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne.
~For me to finish sixth overall is a pleasing achievement, ~I said Roma. ~It was my first Dakar with the Mitsubishi team and I hope that this was the start of a successful new career with the team.~
~Akira Kijima, Managing Director Head of Product Operations for Mitsubishi Motors and responsible for motor sport activities, said: ~I am proud that we were able to achieve the first ever fifth successive victory on one of the toughest events in the world. Mitsubishi Motors' involvement in motor sport is not merely a promotional activity, but is really at the heart of the Mitsubishi Motors brand.~
The event began in Barcelona on New Year's Eve and took place over 15 timed special stages in five countries. Mitsubishi won five timed sections, with Peterhansel winning four and Alphand taking the fastest time through the Tidjikja to Atar section.
Mitsubishi's long experience of off-road racing experience came to the forefront, when the Japanese manufacturer clinched a fifth successive victory in the world's most difficult off-road rally to break its own world record.
Times for SS16 - Dakar to Dakar:
1. Bruno Saby (F)/Michel Perin (F) Volkswagen Touareg 19m 00s
2. Thierry Magnaldi (F)/Jean-Paul Forthomme (B) Honda Buggy 19m 20s
3. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Jean-Marie Lurquin (B) Nissan Pick-Up 20m 15s
4. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Touareg 20m 52s
5. Carlos Sousa (P)/Thierry Delli-Zotti (F) Nissan Pick-Up 21m 03s
6. Joan Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 21m 12s
Overall final classification after SS16:
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 52h 31m 39s
2. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 52h 58m 53s
3. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Touareg 55h 53m 39s
4. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Jean-Marie Lurquin (B) Nissan Pick-Up 56h 34m 15s
5. Bruno Saby (F)/Michel Perin (F) Volkswagen Touareg 61h 15m 53s
6. Joan Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 61h 51m 16s
7. Carlos Sousa (P)/Thierry Delli-Zotti (F) Nissan Pick-Up 62h 34m 08s
8. Thierry Magnaldi (F)/Jean-Paul Forthomme (B) Honda Buggy 63h 35m 23s