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CC Peterhansel leads after day one in Morocco

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports News

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

Leg 1: Agadir - Oued Chebika (Liaison 43 kms; Special 1 - 62 kms; Liaison 68 kms; Special 2 - 180 kms; Liaison 56 kms).

Weather conditions: hot and sunny - 20-29 C (haze early morning)

For immediate release
Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

MITSUBISHI MOTORS TEAM DRIVER PETERHANSEL
TAKES EARLY LEAD IN RALLY OF MOROCCO

Defending champion Peterhansel sets fastest time in second stage;
Spaniard Joan Roma and co-driver Magne hold fifth position

OUED CHEBIKA, Morocco - The Mitsubishi Motors Repsol ATS Studios Team held first and fifth positions through the first of five legs of this year's Orpi Rally of Morocco between Agadir and Oued Chebika, today (Wednesday).

Last year's French winning team mates Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret completed the opening 62 kms section with the fourth fastest time, albeit a mere 33s behind the leading Frenchman Bruno Saby. But they charged through the second 180 kms section, despite a flat tyre and a small navigational mistake, to move into a 1m 05s overnight lead.

~We made a small navigational mistake at the end of the first stage and lost about 40 seconds,~ said Peterhansel. ~But in the second stage, after about 40 kms, we had a flat tire and Jutta (Kleinschmidt) passed me.

~Then we tried to push, but it was difficult to catch Saby. We lost the correct track again near the end of the stage and another half a minute. But it is a good start for us. We stopped for three minutes with the flat tire. So we proved we were the quickest team today.~

Spaniard Joan 'Nani' Roma and his Andorra-based co-driver Henri Magne dropped 2m 12s to Saby through the opening stage, but were on a competitive pace through the longer second stage and hold fifth place at the end of the leg.

~The second stage was easier for me,~ said Roma. ~I was getting used to the feeling of the car in the first one. I attacked from the start of stage two. I made one mistake about 12 kms from the end of the stage and arrived behind Jutta. I should have been ahead of her.

~This time last year I was here on a bike. My life has changed so much in one year, but I am really enjoying the new challenge in the car.~

The event is the third round of this year's FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup and Mitsubishi is currently tied with the Volkswagen team on 26 points.

Today's leg was split into two timed selective sections, with teams tackling a 62 kms test along a sandy track adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, The longer second selective began at the village of Sidi Ifni and featured a series of technical tracks, ascents, the passage around a ridge of dunesa wadi and on to the finish via Fort Aoreora and Oued Dra.

Tomorrow (Thursday) is the second leg of the Orpi Rally of Morocco and the longest selective section of the entire event. After a four kilometer liaison from the bivouac in Oued Chebika, a 351 kms competitive section heads towards a finish in Lemseyed and a 71 kms road liaison takes crews to Tarouma, near Laayoune. The event finishes near Agadir on Sunday.


Positions after leg 1 (unofficial @ 13.00 hrs):
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2h 49m 04s
2. Bruno Saby (F)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Touareg 2h 50m 09s
3. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Tina Thörner (S) Volkswagen Touareg 2h 50m 10s
4. Thierry Magnaldi (F)/Didier Legal (F) Fastspeed Buggy 2h 50m 20s
5. Joan Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2h 52m 39s
6 Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Touareg 2h 54m 04s

Positions on stage 1: (unofficial @ 09.30 hrs)
1. Bruno Saby (F)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Touareg 36m 53s
2.Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Tina Thörner (S) Volkswagen Touareg 37m 26s
3. Thierry Magnaldi (F)/Didier Legal (F) Fastspeed Buggy 37m 23s
4. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 37m 26s
5. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Touareg 37m 53s
TBA. Joan Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 39m 05s

Positions on stage 2: (unofficial @ 13.00hrs)
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2h 11m 38s
2.Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Tina Thörner (S) Volkswagen Touareg 2h 11m 54s
3. Thierry Magnaldi (F)/Didier Legal (F) Fastspeed Buggy 2h 12m 57s
2. Bruno Saby (F)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Touareg 2h 13m 16s
3. Joan Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 2h 13m 34s

Ends

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Florian Moser
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E-mail f.moser@mitsubishi-motor-sports.com


Date issued: 25/05/2005

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